Growing Change: The Youth for EcoAction Program

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Fulford, Stephanie
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The Youth for EcoAction (YEA) Program is a project of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg involving youth at risk in after-school programming. The program focuses on urban agriculture and gardening projects and was developed using the circle of courage model of youth empowerment. This research used participatory methods, including participatory video to analyze the program and its benefits. The YEA program creates positive change in the lives of participants and at a community-wide level. These benefits include skill building and job training, improved self esteem, nutrition and food security, increased environmental awareness and behaviour, and greater community strength. Youth serving agencies, community development organizations and government policy makers should look to the YEA program as a model for youth empowerment and community revitalization. This thesis also explores benefits of participatory research, specifically participatory video, and documents the personal learnings and journey of the author from researcher to practitioner.
community gardens, participatory video, winnipeg, manitoba, youth at risk, circle of courage, youth gardening program, urban agriculture, community development