Calla started at Youth Farm as a participant in the West Side summer program in 2012. She spent her first day that summer looking bored, not participating, and projecting a “too cool” persona. After transitioning to the All-Star group later that week her interests, skills, and passions started to show.  That summer she took on every leadership opportunity available to her. She then applied to be a part of the LEAD program and quickly became an active member of the West Side staff team.

Calla has a passion for all things related to food and especially for being in the Youth Farm kitchen.  Her dedication to cooking is apparent to anyone who has had the pleasure of working through a menu with her. This past summer Calla contributed to our program’s success in numerous ways, most notably as the direct apprentice to our summer chef and also as an activity group leader. She started her days in the kitchen washing and chopping produce, preparing work stations, and teaching youth as young as 9 years old how to cook. Calla, along with the summer Chef and 4-5 youth prepared the lunches that fueled our summer program. A program that regularly had 70 or more youth and staff, many of them lining up immediately for seconds. After lunch she transitioned to leading an afternoon activity group called “The Adventurers”. To help create a welcoming community, a cornerstone of good youth work, Calla created individual journals for each of the youth in her group so they could track their summer time learning and fun.

Calla is graduating this year from Highland Park Senior High School in St. Paul.  This fall Calla will be enrolled at the University of Minnesota, specifically in the Food Systems program within the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences..  We wish her the best and look forward to her returning to YF to share her new knowledge.  


Calla, hiding behind some Youth Farm bell peppers as she works her magic in the kitchen



*This post is part of a series of posts recognizing Youth Farm’s graduating seniors. It was written by former West Side Program Director Tyler Berres*