Last summer Jared McChesney worked with the LEAF Project of PA, a group whose mission is to cultivate youth leaders from diverse backgrounds through meaningful work in the food system. Jared spoke with us about LEAF and how he benefited from the work.
On his experience with LEAF
My experience at LEAF has been nothing short of fun and memorable. At LEAF, I have made a lot of new friendships that are sure to last a lifetime. In addition, I’ve gained so much knowledge over the past year! I’ve learned about how our food system works, cooking skills – which are very necessary, and how to plant, nurture, and harvest almost every vegetable out there. Last summer, we did a lot of farm work, which was hard at times but the people there made it bearable and made me excited for the next day! I also learned how to cook from professional and executive chefs from all over PA. LEAF also visits other farms called “Partner Farms”. At LEAF we also do a workshop called a “Diversity Workshop”. This taught me a lot I did not know about myself. All the different workshops taught me a lot of interesting information that I am glad I learned.
On the benefit of LEAF
I benefited by getting to know myself better and gaining more self confidence by the end of the summer in 2019. I benefited by knowing how I can be a strong and effective leader in my own way. I made a tremendous amount of self growth spiritually and emotionally and I feel happier on a day to day basis. Last year I learned what it takes to be a leader in my community. This year I have to apply that knowledge and pass it on to the new interns coming this summer. This year I definitely want to grow more as a leader to have the ability to help others find their own leadership style.
On why others should apply
I hope others will apply because this was such a life changing experience that has brought so much joy into my life. I want to share it with everyone at my school and I want to give other people the same opportunity for happiness.