HealthCorps Garden Club Provides Joy and Inspiration to Students

Posted 06/16/2016 | By HealthCorps

Health Careers Academy, Stockton, CA

Funder: California Endowment

The Garden Club at HCA began during a previous HealthCorps coordinator’s first year. Initially, the Health Careers Academy didn’t have a full area meant for gardening, however with limited open space and a handful of tools, the students where able to create a space where produce can grow.

“Through the efforts of our community partner Sandy Huber, myself, and Restore Stockton volunteers Emma and Hallie, including the fundraising efforts from the students, we have been able to learn how to install drip irrigation on a small area of grass and begin planting kale, chard, onions and broccoli,” says Bernice Rosas.

The Garden Club has been able to expand its reach to more HCA students and has begun harvesting some produce to share, thus gaining more exposure to the garden club.

Then the students took a chance and applied for the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant in hopes of using the reward to revitalize their garden area and begin working on a long time dream of improving an abandoned courtyard on their school grounds.

The dedication and appreciation the students showed towards their garden and through the application process paid off. Now the Health Careers Academy Garden Club is the proud recipient of the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education $5000 grant. The money will be used to expand their garden and create a courtyard area for students to use.

The garden has also proven to be an area of solace, joy and comfort to students who live in a sometimes-unforgiving environment. One student in particular, Estefany Escobar has been dedicated to the garden since its inception. Estefany has shown areas of leadership and perseverance in garden club, but also in her personal life. When faced with a serious personal issue, Estefany turned to her fellow garden club peers for support and reached out instead of keeping quiet and withdrawing from the group. Estefany found solace in attending garden club and being a part of its projects. She had no prior experience or knowledge in gardening but she learned so much and is always willing to learn new techniques.

Estefany Escobar is just one of many enthusiastic participates of Bernice Rosas’s Garden Club. Great job Bernice! We wish you luck in your wellness endeavor!

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