(New Orleans, September 9, 2015) –– The Phyllis Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking at Tulane University is pleased to announce the inaugural “Community Innovator’s Circle” pilot partnership with Grow Dat Youth Farm. Through this exciting year-long partnership, Grow Dat staff will offer service-learning placements for 55 undergraduate students, guest lecture in two sections of SISE 2010 courses, provide research opportunities for graduate students, and enhance staff and faculty techniques in experiential engagement.
“It is incredible to see how Grow Dat has evolved and grown over the last five years. We have been in discussion about Taylor partnering with Grow Dat over the last year, and we are excited to move forward on some of our ideas for collaboration” said Dean Kenneth Schwartz, Michael J. Sacks Chair in Civic Engagement and Social Entrepreneurship and Director of the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking.
Over the course of the 2015-2016 academic year, Grow Dat Youth Farm will provide experiential learning and training to SISE students through support from the Taylor Center.
“Our ongoing partnership with Taylor creates a wonderful opportunity for our youth leaders,” said Mike Kantor, CFO and Development Director at Grow Dat Youth Farm. Kantor explains, “Participants in our youth Leadership Program learn how to facilitate and lead classes with Tulane SISE students in the fall and then work side by side on the farm, at the market, and on our eco-campus and biodiversity corridor in the spring. We could not offer this valuable learning experience without the strong support and participation of Taylor.”
In addition to 50 fall placements for first-tier service-learning, Grow Dat will design and host several 100-hour internships over the spring 2016 semester. These internships will focus on one of the three tracks of the organization’s core work: youth leadership development, sustainable agriculture, and social enterprise management.
Throughout the year, Grow Dat will host interested graduate students through practicum or research experiences as needs or opportunities arise. Grow Dat will continue to work with staff and faculty to enhance skills in experiential engagement, and the organization will help formalize the vision and implementation of the Community Innovator’s Circle.
For more information about Grow Dat Youth Farm, visit http://growdatyouthfarm.org/
For more information about Taylor, visit http://taylor.tulane.edu/