Garden of Youth
The Denver Public Schools Garden of Youth (GOY) program provides paid work experience and extended job skills training to students with Individualized Education Plans to prepare them for future employment through growing and selling organic produce.
Students in Denver Public Schools receive the opportunity to grow their employment and life skills through extended job skills training.
On completion students are prepared for successful and meaningful employment to provide themselves greater opportunities and independence throughout life.
Overview of our Program
Garden of Youth provides extended job skills training to students that currently lack the skills to obtain or keep a job but have the potential for successful and meaningful employment. Students that complete the 8-week paid summer program earn Work Experience Study credit, a paycheck, and leave with references and a resume update. Intern evalutions are provided to case managers at the end of the program.
Exceptional Student Services works alongside Case Managers to identify ideal student candidates. Students submit their resume and complete an interview. Accepted interns participate in Job Readiness Training before beginning the program in early June. Each Garden of Youth site is supervised by a DPS Job Coach with 3-4 interns. Interns plant, maintain and harvest organic produce throughout the summer to share at local farmers markets. Each week, interns explore a topic from the basics of gardening to keeping bees, nutrition and food justice.
Application link to apply opens in early spring each year and is shared via the Exceptional Student Services EPIC newsletter.
Any student with an IEP is welcome to apply, preference is given to students that lack the skills to obtain meaningful employment on their own.
Visit our primary Sustainability page for additional Garden of Youth resources and more! Garden of Youth is a collaboration between the Sustainability Department and Exceptional Student Services.