Program At Outdoor Historic Landmark Addresses Skills Gap For Vulnerable Young People

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s a summer experience many young people won’t soon forget at Bartram’s Garden in Southwest Philadelphia as teens are jumping head first into a six-week WorkReady program, which addresses the skills gap for vulnerable young people.

The get-to-know-each-other routine included elimination rounds during a spirited game of Rock, Paper Scissors. Tykia Jerry, 18, is spending her third summer working at the outdoor historic landmark.

“I’m going into my senior year. Woo-hoo! When I first got here, I was so clueless. When they said working on a farm, I thought cows and chickens. When I got here, it’s just plants. I’m happy,” said Jerry.

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Now, she is conversant on all of the plant life at the four-acre community farm at Bartram’s Garden.

The teenagers will learn more about what they grow on site to serve at table side, and cooking techniques. Jerry says the students also take responsibility for their actions and learn what it takes to be a leader.

“Public speaking was my enemy when I first got here,” she said. “Now, me and public speaking are acquaintances, but we’re not best friends, yet. We’re on the road.”

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She hopes to study psychology and social work, after she graduates from Bartram High.

WorkReady is managed by the The Philadelphia Youth Network.

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