Nonprofit keeps nearly 50 Milwaukee teens employed during pandemic with internship

MKE students take part in Teens Grow Greens internship
Posted at 8:35 AM, May 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-30 09:35:10-04

MILWAUKEE -- — When there was no such thing as COVID-19, nearly 50 Milwaukee students spent a lot of time team building and working in groups in gardens throughout the city, all while making $8.50 an hour. They signed up to be a part of a paid internship with the nonprofit "Teens Grow Greens."

"I didn't even know how to plant. I didn't know how to garden. It was fun and seeing it grow was just, I loved it because I actually grew the plant, said 14-year-old Markell Milton, who is part of the program this year.

While so many companies are cutting back during the pandemic, this non-profit is welcoming students on the south side of Milwaukee to sign up.

"We saw it as really essential in continuing the internship and serving our mission, albeit from a slightly different path," said Executive Director of Teens Grow Greens, Charles Uihlein said.

"We've had to adapt that this year. We're now going to work in ten different gardens across the city and the teens are going to be working in small groups," he explained.

For now, gardening had to go virtual. Students now do healthy living lectures on Zoom and watch live cooking demos.

"I still love doing the online stuff," Milton said.

"We still get to learn about planting and learn about other people and their experience with growing plants and eating healthy foods," he continued.

The teens also take home seed kits.

"Gardening has a wonderful effect. You are in the moment when you are gardening. You have your hands in the dirt which is very therapeutic. You are able to grow your own healthy food and then share that with your family," said Uihlein.

Milwaukee teenagers learn how to grow and cook own food during internship

Click here to contact Teens Grow Greens to apply for openings on Milwaukee's South Side.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip