Youth With Faces is planting seeds for success with a new greenhouse and urban farm to support our culinary and horticulture training for youth in the juvenile justice system. We are currently in the planning phase, working with builders and local horticulturists to design the greenhouse and growing fields that will be located at Youth Village, one of the largest juvenile justice centers in Dallas County.
The youth we serve frequently deal with depression, anxiety and the effects of childhood trauma – issues that can lead to chronic offending. But, we’ve seen firsthand how Therapeutic Horticulture helps teens improve their mental well-being. Horticulture classes teach teamwork, human nurturing, development, resilience and survival, and are widely recognized for socialization and rehabilitative benefits. Combined with our culinary program, youth develop, newfound confidence and positive ways to spend time upon release.
Our graduates return home with catering and cooking experience in addition to the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe Food Handler Certificate – a competitive credential for culinary professionals. In fact, about 3 out of 4 of Youth With Faces graduates secure post-release employment. And as the restaurant industry continues to place an emphasis on fresh, locally grown food, horticulture training gives our students knowledge and specialty skills for higher paying culinary jobs.