Alexis first heard about Youth Farm from his neighbors Anahi and Josefa. He had just moved in next door to a Youth Farm site, and the two sisters shared with him their experience in Youth Farm. Soon after, he went down the street to visit his cousins and saw a Youth Farm site right across the street from them too. His cousins were some of the first Youth Farmers who build the Whittier farm site, and their mother sometimes came in as a guest chef to our summer program. After seeing Youth Farm everywhere and thinking that he didn’t have anything else to do anyway, Alexis signed up for his first summer. He remembers the first weeks as being hot, but worth it and fun.

Now Alexis just finished his third summer at Youth Farm, and his first as a Project LEAD staff. He was worried about how his family would be able to take care of his younger brother, Alan, age 7, while Alexis was at Youth Farm, so they decided to see if Alan could come with. Well, Alan became one of our hardest working Youth Farmers and never failed to have a smile on his face. Alan’s favorite moment of his first summer was getting to spray paint a T-shirt and eat ice cream for his first Fun Friday.

Shanna, Katya, Gabby, and Alan

Shanna, Katya, Vanessa, and Alan

Last Saturday I gave a presentation to the Lyndale Neighborhood Association’s Women’s Leadership Program. Another of Alexis and Alan’s aunts is a member of the cohort, and she shared the story of their involvement. Alan had been brought there by his aunt, and he was able to share Youth Farm produce with the women and other children. All the ninos filled up bags of crisp apples grown right across the street from Alan’s home.

Thank you Alexis and Alan for all you’ve done to contribute to the Lyndale neighborhood. I know we’ve seen some hot summer days, but you both make it worthwhile and fun!