SOOP (Summer of Opportunity Program) at St. Marks/St. Johns
On Monday, July 9th, 10 teenagers from across the city arrived at SMSJ to begin their summer internship experience in their EDEN gardens. Over the next 6 weeks, the interns will be working to maintain the gardens and share SMSJ’s vision of a happy, healthy, connected community with their Beechwood neighbors.
SMSJ was chosen from an extremely competitive pool of potential employers to host interns through SOOP (Summer of Opportunity Program), an initiative run by RochesterWorks! in collaboration with the City of Rochester. SOOP is designed to provide youth ages 14-20 with a supportive first employment experience and equip them with the tools they need to succeed in the workforce as they enter adulthood.
SMSJ has designed the interns’ experience around the pillars of gardening, healthy living, leadership, community engagement, and job readiness, in the hopes they will walk away from this experience ready to be successful adults and leaders in their communities.
After a brief orientation, the interns headed over to the EDEN Training Center garden on Denver Street to see what's growing and participate in a weeding workshop with Tom Weiler, the Training Center garden captain. Tom had an incredible amount of knowledge to share about weeds and the methods gardeners use to control them, and the weeds in the garden were no match for the 10 eager interns!
The SMSJ team has wanted to run an internship program for years, and now are so happy that their vision has finally come to fruition. They are so excited to spend the next 6 weeks learning and growing with the interns, and grateful to have the opportunity to introduce them to the EDEN gardens and their Beechwood community.
Bishop Singh visited recently, to get a tour with The Rev. Cindy Rasmussen to see all the hard work and support by the interns.
Follow along Sarah Murphy's blog and many photos regarding this program at: https://www.stmarksandstjohns.org/single-post/2018/07/10/SOOP-Interns-Ar... and click on the updates on the right hand side.