GroundED Program

The GroundED Program

GroundED is a program for youth ages 16-21 with an IEP, 504 plan, or any documented disabilities, enrolled in high school, technical school, alternative school, GED programs, or college. Participants receive pre-employment training through sustainable farming, learning technical agriculture skills and professional skills such as communication, punctuality, and self-advocacy. The program includes cooking workshops, education on native plants, market stand experiences, and career exploration through field trips and guest speakers.

About this Program

Who is eligible?

Youth ages 16-21 with an IEP, 504 plan, or any other documented disabilities who are also students enrolled in an educational program: high school, technical school, alternative school, Open Doors (GED) program, or college/university.

What happens in GroundED?

Youth participate alongside peers in a group, experiencing pre-employment training services based on sustainable farming, learning technical skills in agriculture, and professional skills in communication, punctuality, public speaking, self-advocacy, conflict resolution, and direct feedback. We also do cooking workshops, teach youth about native plants and trees, sell our produce at a market stand, explore careers in related fields by taking field trips to potential job sites, and learn about careers from professionals in those fields on these field trips and when guest speakers visit GRuB.

What is the schedule?

In the summer, it is 18 hours per week, Wednesday through Friday, 10:00 - 4:00. Then, in the fall and spring, it is 11.5 hours per week. The schedule is 4:30 - 7:00 Wednesday and Thursday, and 10:00 - 4:30 Saturday. Youth are invited to join the program at specific points throughout the year, and if they are enjoying the program and would like to continue to build skills, they may continue further into the season.

What benefits do participants receive?

Youth earn minimum wage, $16.28 per hour, for their time in the program. They are also welcome to take home vegetables, fruits, herbs, honey, and flowers throughout the season.

Where does it take place?

At the GRuB Farm: 2016 Elliott Ave. NW, Olympia, WA 98502

How do I sign up?

To get approval for participation, this form needs to be filled out and signed by a school official, then returned completed to

Download Approval Form

To ensure that the form is completely and accurately filled out, refer to this checklist:

Download Checklist

These services were developed in partnership with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and made possible with the generous funding from Inspire Olympia.

For questions, call Carli at 360-753-5522 or email

Youth Voices from GRuB

"Before GRuB I had no sense of community. I had never felt welcomed or wanted by a group of people. I've truly felt community here at GRuB because every minute here I feel like I'm part of something important; whether we are in the middle of working towards a common goal, team-building, or just hanging; I always feel welcomed and wanted."  

"Doing team-building really showed me what community meant. We worked on making our relationships stronger, building trust, respecting boundaries and identities, and practicing open-mindedness. To me, that explains what a community is."  

“I stepped up as a leader more often, and I’m most proud of that because without GRuB, I wouldn’t have probably thought of myself as a leader.”

“Sometimes just spending some time working on something in nature is all you need to calm your mind.”   

“At first I was just excited to get out of the house, but over time realized that it wasn’t a class, but a family.  This place has got me through all my tests, and I passed my GED in less than two months.  I got through because of the support, the love, and the fun at GroundED.”   

Ready to apply or have questions? 

Email or call 360-753-5522 if you have any questions, or if you would like to set up a visit to GRuB.

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