“It was frightening to think I'd be having my own crew that I would be leading workshops by myself that I would be responsible for these young people. Kev (the Education Coordinator) was like, “you're going to rock it” That's when I kind of started to get into the groove of it. Just being okay with addressing immediate problems. And also just getting my feet wet with doing guidelines workshops or real talk workshops with other crew leaders. I feel like that really broke the ice for me and after I felt more confident. I can speak in front of almost anybody now.”
Sean Winford joined Grow Dat as a Crew Member in the summer of 2015. He immediately felt welcomed and was engaged in workshops and on the fields at Grow Dat. He speaks fondly of the first day he walked onto the farm and was greeted with smiles and open arms. He often recalls the ways he was impacted by the Grow Dat Guidelines.
“I feel like I became way more self-aware that summer, realizing where I am in social groups and being a big speaker. That summer I learned a lot about just reevaluating myself in social groups.”
At the end of the Leadership Program, Sean applied to Grow Dat’s 9-month Assistant Crew Leader Program. Along with seven other graduates, Sean was selected to return as an Assistant Crew Leader and to begin the intensive farming and facilitation program that would prepare him to help lead a new crew of Leadership Program participants in the spring.
“As an Assistant Crew Leader, you're learning to facilitate farm tasks, you're learning to co-facilitate and even facilitate your own workshops and stuff like that. It was all about learning facilitation and also problem solving like in the moment. It felt good to show my peers and crew members that I knew what I was talking about. It made me really care about the work that I was doing and made me pay more attention to the information and the way that I was giving out the information to everybody.”
At this time, Sean was also finishing his final year of high school at Clark Prep and trying to figure out his next steps. Not quite ready to jump into college, Sean decided to apply to the part time position of Grow Dat Crew Leader.