Project G.A.R.D.E.N

Gaining Access to Research and Discover Environmental Nutrition

Photo of Von Jackson

Written by

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

  • No

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Date Started

May 11th, 2018

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

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

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?

Kids are getting all of their nutrition from stores that sell nothing but greasy foods and sugary snacks. Parents do not have the time to teach kids nutritional skills, so they grow up and get diseases that affect their health (high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.).

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

I would like to implement a program that teaches kids about how unhealthy the sugary snacks. Not only will kids be taught what not to eat, but they will be taught how to grow healthier alternatives, fruits and vegetables. I feel like this should happen during the school year because students will be on vacation during the summer. At the end of the program students will make a big fruit salad for each other and the rest will go to the homeless, elderly, and poor.

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

This program would start the third week when school starts. Student will go to a specific building after school. First, students will take another student's name out of a jar but will not tell who they had. Students will then have a lesson for a hour. The next hour and a half will be working in the garden. After getting out the garden, students will have refreshments and talk about the good things the student selected on the piece of paper had done that day. We would end everyday with a freedom song from the Civil Rights Movement and Slavery because they need to know that these vegetable and fruits are what their ancestors survived on.

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

The program is taking all of the positive aspects of other programs I have been in and creating a hybrid. My program is leaving all of the aspects that I did not like as a child so kids like me will be motivated to come back every day and not drop out of the program. Things like not keeping students too long, giving kids refreshments, and giving kids accountability for one another are just the elements that come to my mind with this program

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

I plan on knowing I made a difference by the knowledge that the kids will retain from coming to the program. If I teach you lessons and three days later you can't tell me what you learned I know that I am not making a difference. I have to get not only in the child's mind but the heart also.

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

I plan on taking the project to the next level by having the previous members be mentors for the younger members. That will make the garden a perpetual cycle and virtually it can stay in the community forever. The garden program can have cords for seniors if the program stay around long enough. Those seniors could have a scholarship from the program which gives parents an incentive to keep their kids in the program. The program can spread out to bigger cities like Cleveland, Mississippi or Clarksdale, Mississippi.

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

I need funding so I can get the tools, books, seeds, and structure. I will need a school sponsor to spread the word for me. I will need space to plant the garden. I will also need team members because I will be a college freshman. A website to advertise the program would also be impactful.

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.

Other change makers could come down to the Mississippi Delta and help with the garden and learning how the Delta is doing bad when it comes to nutrition. The kids in my program could travel to other change makers' program and environment and understand why they need change. If we understand each other, we have done our job as "change makers"

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
  • Low-income community

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media


Join the conversation:

Photo of Parum Misri

I think that this idea could really go places, especially with obesity being as big a problem as it is today. I look forward to seeing where this project goes!

Photo of Nike

Hi Von! I think your project has a strong mission and some great components. I look forward to see how it develops!

Photo of Walter Jackson

This idea is wonderful. Your passion for kids and the needs to eat healthy is vital. To want to plant a ongoing garden is not only a great idea but something when you are gone can be implemented by others!! Keep your passion and good habits going.

Photo of Meagan Warren

This is a great idea!! At my school, we have a public garden where students ca help out at during the lunch period a few days a week. Perhaps you could work with local schools to do something like that? Just a thought :)

Photo of Armani Simmons

This is definitely needed in the multicultural community!

Photo of Sebastian Ibarraran

Your creative approach to raising awareness about unhealthy snacks is extremely interesting to me. Feel free to check out and evaluate my idea @Breaking Barriers to see if we can possibly collaborate in the future!

Photo of Nooruddin Ahmad

Right! The food we are surrounded by in our neighborhoods is extremely bad for our health, and food that is good for us in unaffordable.

Photo of Von Jackson

Food that can really be taught to cultivate. Teaching a person to fish instead of feeding him/her is my purpose.

Photo of Elliott D

What kind of resources have you used personally at home? Do you have your own garden?

Maybe you can find someone local with a garden or farm to come talk to this potential after school program!

What are your plans for the garden during the summer? There are many fruits and veggies that flourish over the summer and without anyone on campus, how would you plan to keep the garden healthy?

Also consider compost!

Photo of Von Jackson

My grandmother owns the basic tools to great a backyard garden off the ground (shovel, hose, etc.). I chose Rosedale instead of my hometown because there is an after school program that has recently came to the town called the Rosedale Freedom Project. We have our own program like this, but our program has donors and legacy. Having a budget for their garden will make it flourish for years to come. They also has this program during the summer called Freedom Summer where gardening will be happening also.