Youth Employment (The Rad-ish Project) Goals

In 1986, philosopher Pierre Bourdieu found that financial capital is influenced by cultural, human, and social capital. In order to stop reproducing societal inequalities, we must equalize these three types of capital across all populations. Our youth employment program is designed to enhanced all three types of capital, so that graduates of our program have a better chance of reaching their goals.

The combination of these three types of capital help explain why some people enter well-paying and safe jobs, while others don’t.

Cultural Capital: The ability to relate to and feel comfortable with those in charge. We acquire cultural capital from our family and upbringing; the languages we speak, our ethnicity, foods we prefer to eat, preferred leisure activities, etc. If one does not grow up with similar cultural capital as their future boss, it takes time to learn this type of capital. Unfortunately, employers tend to hire people with their type of cultural capital, because they feel more comfortable around them.

Human Capital: An employee’s skill-set – AKA – resume builders. What are your marketable skills? What is your training or degree in?

Social Capital: Who do you know? As many people claim, it’s not what you know, but who you know! Do you have family connections for a job or internship? Will your previous employer provide a good reference? Are you well-liked by your wealthy community so you can raise money to travel?

The Growing Alliances youth employment program (fondly dubbed the “Rad-ish” Project) brings together youth from ages 16-21 of diverse backgrounds but who have the common experience of foster care. The goal of our youth employment program is to facilitate the growth of self, skills, and community.

Grow SELF:

  • Responsibility

  • Accountability

  • Self-confidence

  • Be comfortable with failure

  • Be able to set and accomplish measurable goals

  • Nurture passion

Grow SKILLS:

  • Organic farm skills

  • Basic construction

  • Plant identification

  • Horticulture, biology and soil science

  • Event Planning

  • Budgeting

Grow COMMUNITY:

  • Build working relationships with staff, coworkers, and community partners

    • Clear and healthy communication

    • Create trust among team

    • Create friendships with coworkers and youth from nearby youth and gardening organizations.

  • Build professional network

    • Participate in networking events

  •  Support community

    • How can we support/improve our community?

  • Environmental Stewardship

What Will We Be Doing?

The youth will spend a portion of their time at our ‘practice plot’ that has been generously provided by the Chuckanut Center, a community centered urban garden that provides garden plots for group projects. Here, staff and youth employees will practice gardening techniques by growing food for our own consumption and distribution into the community.

Each week, we will allocate a few hours to each of our partner community gardens, to help them flourish. We will most likely start the summer off by working with:

Northwest Youth Services WeGrow Garden

The Chuckanut Center

Sterling Paz

During the off-season, youth have the opportunity to continue employment through winter event planning and budgeting for the coming season. Growing Alliances will host regular networking events throughout the year, to which we will invite Bellingham employers to meet our stellar youth employees. We will not be successful in our mission if our youth employees graduate from our program without being registered for further education or employment.

Interested in learning more about our youth employment program (the Rad-ish Project)? Visit our Application Page.

We start accepting applications April 15 for our first season and will start interviews June 1. To apply, email a cover letter introducing yourself, why you are interested in the job and any past work or volunteer experience you’ve had.

Please email us at info@growingalliances.org to apply or for questions.