I really always wanted to do gardening and growing plants at home. I always had a passion for it. So when I drove by Growing Home and saw the greenhouses, I said, “What is this place?! I have to check it out!” I researched it on my own. Once I found out it was a job training program, I called and got my interview and got accepted. It’s like it was meant to be.
A lot of people who come to Growing Home have some sort of barrier to get employment. For me, there were gaps in my resume. I never had enough courage to just go get a job. I always thought, “Why even go and apply for something that I’m not gonna get?” But that’s not the truth. The truth is, if you knock on doors, they will eventually open for you. And Growing Home was a huge boost of confidence for me when it comes to that.
As a PA, I enjoyed coming to the farm and seeing everything grow and how everything works. It’s a process and I like that it takes time and care and you see the fruits of your labor. Just the whole experience, I enjoy it a lot – from pulling weeds to planting to harvesting. I also learned about the job readiness aspect like resume-writing and being ready for a job mentally. How to behave, what to do, etc. I refreshed my computer skills – Growing Home was gracious enough to provide us with computers and hot spots. I was just so grateful.
I then stayed on to be a Farm Intern at Growing Home after my graduation which is amazing. There are more responsibilities that come with being an intern which I liked. You might be assigned a volunteer team or a PA team. It involves more teaching. You see people come in as a PA, and you start working with them. You talk with them about how the program is, you train them, and you help them and talk to them about things they might be going through. It’s a really good feeling.
With being an intern, I also have to mention the people I’m working with, the farm team, my colleagues, the ET team – the whole team is very supportive and it feels bigger than myself. Growing Home gives you a part of something bigger and you are part of a team. People trust you and rely on you – and you just want to fulfill your role and do your best.
At Growing Home, I found out that things are possible. That sometimes you can work and do something you love. That’s huge for me. Getting a job at something you are good at and that you feel comfortable doing and that you are interested in doing – and you’re not just doing because you have to. Growing Home – that’s what it means to me.
– Anna, 2020 Graduate of Growing Home Employment Training Program & 2020 Farm Intern