"Grow into Tomorrow, Flourish into The Future"

Photo of JaLinda Patrick
8 6

Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Date Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Americans live in a delusional society where convenience is outweighed by quality. This "have it now" mentality has caused a surge in obesity and a domino effective, catastrophic increase in disease, illness, and death rates. Companies have seen this as an opportunity to create "magic pills" to resolve any and every ailment caused by the synthetic foods on shelves when the answer lies in the Earth that we live.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

I plan to open a small vegan store in central Birmingham, AL that grows and sells most of its own produce and products at a minimal price that allows households of all incomes to have the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle. Fruits and vegetables can be grown onsite with the store while some items such as vegan juices and healthy living cookbooks must be outsourced. With every purchase a minimum of 10% will be donated to various organizations that fight to find cures for various diseases caused by the ill consumption of foods. Produce will be grown onsite, the costs associated with outsourcing those products such as shipping will be eliminated and funds can be kept in house to make sure the produce can be grown to its full potential. An indoor garden is the best solution to reduce the need for pesticides and give customers a sneak peek in how growing is done and gives them a positive affirmation that the products purchased is indeed naturally grown. The establishment while not needing to be large must be in a reasonable location with commercial property being inexpensive. If selected "Garden" will be the first vegan store in the greater metro Birmingham.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Imagine a single mother of three on a tight budget with a family to support only has $50 until her next pay period. Instead of purchasing frozen TV dinners or fast food, this mother can come to "Garden" where she can purchase quality produce at a reasonable price. In addition, her purchase will generate a donation of at least 10% which will go to various organizations that help to find cures to diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Also a flyer will go with each purchase to let the customer know how their purchase helps and where their donation went along with health tips.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Project Garden will be the first and only vegan store in the state of Alabama. In addition, customers will be able to come to garden and see the products being grown and be able to purchase onsite. Overall the biggest difference is that garden will sell all vegan products without the heavy price tag that eating healthy comes with.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

I personally grow some of the vegetables that my family consumes; its a very proud and fulfilling moment to pick, cook, and enjoy the literal fruits of my labor. I plan to bring my small backyard garden to the entire city of Birmingham with the hopes that other families will purchase organic foods without the negative stigma of those products being expensive.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Partnering with colleges in the Birmingham are to begin gardens within their own campuses. Most colleges have vast amounts of unutilized land and with the help of their science departments and the hands of the students, project Garden can be expanded to students across campus.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

Funding, school sponsorship, space.

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

I have engaged family members by getting them involved with the overall growing process. Raising my garden has been like raising a grassland of children. Eventually my family were interested and helped until they themselves contributed plants and ideas to my garden, which is now our garden.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Black or African American (for example: African American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Somalian, etc) (8)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Communities of color

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?



Join the conversation:

Photo of Ariyan Miller

Hey There Fellow Changemaker,

Congrats on moving to the next phase. I wishing you the best of luck ! & I am sending love and light to all the positive things that you do.

Photo of Ella Hughes

I believe that this idea would be very helpful to people. I know that having access to vegetables and fruits at an affordable price would be beneficial to people.

Photo of DeletedUser


I agree 100% that changing our diets will change our overall health & mindset. I love that you're getting people to participate in growing the food as well. I believe our visions go hand in hand, I would love to exchange information to do some potential collaborations in the future!!!

Photo of Brittany Corner

Great Work!

Photo of Natalie Laky

This is a great idea! I totally understand that people tend to buy junk food because they think it's cheaper than fresh produce. You're making an important change for low-income families by providing this education about healthy eating and managing a family budget at the same time. Good luck!

Photo of JaLinda Patrick

Natalie Laky thank you so much for your comment!

Photo of Gavrielle Welbel

I am vegan and have become really interested in how to make healthy, environmentally sustainable food choices accessible to people at all socioeconomic levels. Vegan, organic, and health foods certainly have a stigma of being over priced and frivolous but it should not and does not have to be that way!

Photo of JaLinda Patrick

Thank you so much Gavrielle Welbel for your input! Over the years food prices have relatively been the same, however the price gap between processed foods and organic/vegan is usually tripled. I'm hoping to even out and add an alternative!