If you have been to a Powderhorn Youth Farm program or community event in the last 8 years chances are you have met Charlot and experienced the creative expression that has been the hallmark of his time at Youth Farm. Charlot began his Youth Farm journey in 2008. His early years in the program included trips to Farm Camp and days spent reading while gardening (yes, WHILE gardening…and walking….and eating). His love of a good book fueled his creative expressions. Soon he was not reading others’ tales, but writing his own and incorporating his creative expressions into Youth Farm focus groups like the zine group, martial arts, and movement and dance. Throughout the years, he was often seen with a younger group of Youth Farmers, inspiring and mentoring them to also follow their own creative passions.
Not only did Charlot pave his own path but he also found ways to apply creativity to the Youth Farm way of doing youth work. He plays dodge ball without touching the ball, applies permaculture practices to the redesign of our farm spaces, and incorporates finger weaving into after school cooking classes.
While I have known Charlot for years and have been witness to the talents of this “man of epic tales”, I had the honor this year to work side by side with Charlot in the Powderhorn neighborhood. I experienced firsthand his dedication to his community as he poured time and energy into redesigning our Ba’hai Farm space (a space he has contributed to for the last 5 years). I learned from him the best practices and things that make the Powderhorn program unique. He supported the program as we transitioned in new staff helping to build our Green Central hoop house and stepping into increased leadership roles leading his own farm groups and focus groups. He mentored younger Project LEAD demonstrating dedication, thoughtfulness, and a passion to make his community better through creativity and hard work.
While Charlot’s official time at Youth Farm comes to a close as he moves on to college, he has left a lasting mark on our Powderhorn Program. His contributions helped to foster a culture of creativity that makes the program uniquely Powderhorn.
*This post is part of a series of posts recognizing Youth Farm’s graduating seniors. It was written by Associate Director Amanda Stoelb*