Rediet Habtegebriel '22 Cultivates Leadership
Rediet Habtegebriel ’22 grew up in Ethiopia helping care for the vegetables growing in her grandmother’s garden. She found an opportunity to renew those roots in a summer position with The Food Project, a nonprofit in Massachusetts dedicated to bringing diverse youth and adults together to build a sustainable food system. The psychology major and biology minor applied to the Seed Crew, The Food Project’s introductory youth program, and was accepted.
“My time with Seed Crew grew my appreciation for planting, watering and weeding, and for how the whole system is connected,” Seed Crew Peer Leader Habtegebriel said. “Working on the farm reminded me of my grandma. I now know how to grow my own food. I want to have my own garden with plants and vegetables like she did.”
“When I first applied, I just wanted a job, but then I realized how much I loved meeting all the people working here that come from different backgrounds. They taught me that when we all come together, we build the foundation for fighting injustices,” she added.
Seed Crew youth work together to sustainably grow and distribute thousands of pounds of local produce while cultivating leadership, public speaking and civic participation skills. Following morning work on the farms, Seed Crew members spend their afternoons in workshops about food access, social justice and personal reflection. They leave the experience more self-aware, community-minded and confident in their ability to make the world a better place.
“I got started in The Food Project because I wanted to be involved in something,” Habtegebriel said. “But it turned out to be way more than that. I didn’t have a voice in this society as a female, person of color or youth. The Food Project gives me the confidence that my voice matters. There is nothing more beautiful than working with a diverse group of people through all walks of life and working together to create a more just food system.”