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Greening Youth Foundation’s Urban Youth Corps (UYC) program has been in operation since 2014. UYC focuses on the professional, economic and character development of inner-city youth between the ages of 17 and 25 years old from challenging backgrounds. The youth enrolled in this program come from some of the most challenging neighborhoods in America. These youth receive training in the areas of conservation, urban agriculture, construction, financial literacy, cultural and societal awareness, professional development and entrepreneurship.
After the initial training that the youth receive, they are placed into crews of 5 and sent out to work on various projects over a year’s time. The projects are designed to not only help to develop the youth, but to also develop the communities that they are from. In addition to working on various conservation and green infrastructure projects, they also receive a personal mentor, life coaching, entrepreneurship training and career counseling. Additionally, the youth get paid $10-$11/hr for 40 hours per week throughout the entire program. The goal of the UYC program is to have 100% of all youth who graduate from the program to move on to either permanent employment, entrepreneurship or college enrollment.
GYFted stands for Greening Youth Foundation Trained Educated and Developed. The GYFted program is an intensive training program that has two tracts. The standard tract prepares youth for our 1-year Urban Youth Corps experience, while the GYFted Tree Care tract prepares youth to enter directly into the tree care industry.
The tree care industry is a very high demand, well-paying and rewarding field. However, it is not for everyone. One must be willing to work hard, get dirty, endure inclement weather, be punctual and work as a team. It also requires one to be in good physical shape and in good health. The GYFted Tree Care program is designed to ensure that youth are ready for this. Throughout the 8-week training, youth will learn the technical aspects of tree care, such as chainsaw operation, chipper operation, ground operation, etc., as well as soft skills such as professional development, financial literacy, health and nutrition, and character development. Throughout this process, youth are put on a regimen to ensure that they are in good physical health, which includes daily physical exercises as well as a healthy meal plan.
GYF employs a professional staff of historians, sociologists, psychologists, educators, marine biologists, environmental scientists, anthropologists and wilderness experts. GYF’s team is highly specialized and focuses on land acquisition, design and development, greenway and green space project management, community mobilization and outreach. We are dedicated to the preservation of nature’s finite and historical resources. Collectively we have more than 400 years of experience facilitating youth programs that emphasize personal growth through hands-on experience and challenges.