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228 Hours

By Emily Sullivan, Phase II Fellow

As the Mary Baldwin College spring semester is drawing to a close the students are beginning their finals as I am knee-deep in reflections of the last 13 weeks of working with students and facilitating volunteer hours with them.

Throughout this semester 19 students were required to fulfill 25 volunteer hours, half of which were allocated to working on the MBC Student Garden. We started seeds, built a cold frame, learned about garden planning, discussed the global food system, successfully planned an event showcasing the student projects, got to know each other, experienced the challenges of event-organizing and team-work,

empowered ourselves and our peers, and perhaps most importantly, planted the seeds for lifelong learning and began to change the culture.

One of many kale transplants started from seed by students

Beautiful (& delicious!) apple rose tarts made by students

Flyers made to promote the new Student Garden Campus group

Students learning how to prep beds showing their “empowered farmer” poses

Measure twice, cut once! Students building a cold frame together

Cutting twice

Students working on the chalk/sandwich board, with salvaged plywood & homemade chalkboard paint

Students collecting compost donated from a nearby neighbor

With these 228 hours working on the MBC Student Gardens I have learned a little about what it takes to be a volunteer coordinator, a teacher, and a mentor through working with these bright and challenging young women.

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