what we all want for our kids -
courage —- confidence —- connection
We don’t limit kids by
race, gender, zipcode, or socio-economic class -
as long as they are youth who want to come to the farm, they qualify.
There is no such thing any more as “At Risk” youth. All teens from this generation report experiencing feelings of discouragement from stress, disempowerment from life drama, and/or disconnection from their community.
Pressure in school and on social media stifle growth and creativity in young people. They often lack a place where they can try out new ideas without worrying about failure and ridicule.
All kids crave a place where they belong, where they make sense just by being who they are.
What We Do:
At ARK Farms the kids come to help restore rescue animals and the land they live on. This means that the teens are the heroes, not the project.
In the process of building a better life on the farm, kids develop new skills and discover what they are really good at - they learn that they are valuable in this ecosystem.
Working with other people from all kinds of backgrounds is the most complete picture of real community. If I am carrying a heavy load, and you come pick up the other end, I am so grateful for the help. Nobody cares if the help is black/white, male/female, rich/poor, fat/skinny - we all need each other. THIS is community.
How this helps:
When teens find that they are powerful, and able to work together to build life, they have a powerful incentive never to destroy it.
Working on the farm builds real workforce and career skills that lead to job experience, not to mention a work ethic they will have for the rest of their lives.
Building life together bridges the gap of social boundaries in our community. Teens begin to see others in their community from a new perspective, because “different” is valuable - it destroys the power of racism, gender inequality, and division in our community.