Learning Gardens High School Interns

02.07.14 | 7pm | Education

The Learning Gardens Spring and Summer Youth Internship and workforce development experience provides an educational out-of-school opportunity for over 30 high school students in the spring, with 12 youth also receiving an advanced workforce experience through a paid internship for two months in the summer.  Throughout the program, participants immerse themselves in leadership roles as resources and advocates for their communities, and play a key role in garden stewardship, helping to make the abundance of City Parks Foundation’s community gardens’ harvest available to their neighborhoods. Read on to see what our interns had to say about their experiences.


Aisha Hairs, Frederick Douglass Academy VII High School, Age 14, Umoja Learning Garden intern

“One Thing I ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY loved were the trips we went on. They all taught me so much. Going to the Botanical Gardens was beautiful and even more special for me because I had not been there before that day and I got to experience it’s beauty for myself.”

Brandon Arriola, Bronxwood Preparatory Academy, Age 16, Liberty Learning Garden intern

“As the weeks go by I like working here and I like the new garden. It’s a lot of work but I had fun with my friends. We had our ups and downs. I love them.  All and all it was a good summer.”

Brenda Velasco, Bushwick Leaders’ High School for Academic Excellence, Age 17, Liberty Learning Garden intern

“My favorite activity was going to Governor’s Island to learn about composting.  At Governor’s Island we made a worm bin container; walked the goats; fed the chickens and helped put up the fence for the rabbits.”

Crystal Leckie, Bushwick Leaders’ High School for Academic Excellence, Age 17, Umoja Learning Garden intern

“This experience helped me get an idea on how I would like to spend the rest of my life which was really cool. This summer I had the chance to work not only with the people at Umoja garden but the people at other gardens too. Working with them not only made me gain more friends but it also taught me different things. This was a great way to spend summer before all the stress of school takes over our lives.”

Fatou Tunkara, University Heights High School, Age 16, Grove Hill Learning Garden intern

“Being an intern sure does help me gain a lot of things.  I became more responsible and I started to listen more than I used to. I learned what it really means to actually have a job and sticking with it. Now the garden is colorful, the gates are open and the garden is filled with vegetables, fruits, and flowers that cause many people that walk by to look into the garden.”

Jose Abreu, University Heights High School, Age 15, Grove Hill Learning Garden intern

“In my opinion, being an intern for CPF this summer has been a great experience because my objective was to gain experience on working with co-workers and interacting with strangers. I am very grateful to CPF for giving me my first job and guiding me on a better, healthier future for myself.”

Nichalos Harper, Brooklyn High School for Law & Technology, Age 15, Umoja Learning Garden intern

“My summer intern job was a very special experience for me because I was given the opportunity to express my knowledge on gardening and allowed me to utilize my strong work ethic. Working as an intern motivated me to work hard and to motivate others. Now I have learned so much useful information that I will use in the near future.”

Nyeisha Als, Brooklyn High School for Law & Technology, Age 16, Umoja Learning Garden intern

“One of the fun parts about working at the Umoja Garden was going on fun trips like when we went upstate to a farm. The trip was very fun and we learned how they raise animals, milk cows and how their farm make different types of cheese. Another challenge was working well with others and doing group activities and also meeting new people.”

Triana Pena, M.S. 301, Age 14, Grove Hill Learning Garden intern

“During the internship, we made a media project which was a music video. Filming the footage was so easy and I had a blast doing it. When we wererecording the verses, we had so much fun. Not only did I learn and gain knowledge, but I also gained new friends as well.”

William Davila, Brooklyn High School for Law & Technology, Age 15, Liberty Learning Garden intern

“The activities I enjoyed were sharing my knowledge with others, taking responsibility with completing daily goals and the end result of our work to make the garden look beautiful. Sharing my knowledge with others has been my number one goal out of this experience.  In my opinion sharing your knowledge with others is the best gift you can give.”

Yomaira Gil, Mott Haven Village Preparatory High School, Age 17, Grove Hill Learning Garden intern

“This year, I felt that the program was more fun and exciting because of the field trips we had…For example, when I visited the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, I learned about companion planting and what good combinations of plants can result into better and stronger plants… I accomplished many goals this year in the Learning Gardens: being more confident, learning to be more of a leader and also teaching people things that I learned myself.”


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