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Hope for Suffolk looking for interns

Hope for Suffolk is back and ready to help some youth and vegetables grow this farming season.

High school students are encouraged to apply for a paid internship with Hope for Suffolk that will run from March to October. Students will work on a small organic vegetable farm and participate in workshops to help them find growth in themselves and the community.

“It is for those who want to see a change in themselves,” said Hayden Blythe, director of Hope for Suffolk. “It can be an internal change, like wanting to change attitude or life choices, or help gain experience to get out of their shell. A lot of teens struggle with self-doubt, and this is an opportunity for growth.”

Especially this school year, with Suffolk Public Schools still virtual, this internship is an opportunity for teens to get the socialization they miss in a regular school year in a safe outdoor environment. This also helps fill the community service requirement needed for graduation.

The program is looking for 40 teens to work the organic vegetable gardens. The students will grow the produce and then sell it from May to September.

“The students will grow and sell the vegetables, and all money goes back to the program so we can keep paying those involved,” said Blythe.

Workshops are provided to help students deal with real-world issues such as anger management and conflict resolution. Hope for Suffolk also has openings for volunteers to help be an ally, or mentor, to the teens during these workshops.

“We have a small staff of volunteers who serve as allies in the workshops through the season,” said Blythe. “They are there, so the teens have someone in their corner and on their side as a sounding board. Many teens lack support at home, but we could all use someone for support.”

To be an intern, volunteer or buy fresh produce later this spring, visit hopeforsuffolk.org.