Teens and young adults working on their GED are finding powerful new avenues in GroundED, a regional partnership through GRuB and GRAVITY. The program empowers students to develop a wide range of personal and community-based skills while continuing to work toward their high school equivalency diploma.
The inaugural GroundED program launches March 20, 2019, with 20 youth working at the GRuB Farm through June. Youth will learn the basics of sustainable farming, communication and conflict resolution skills, and facilitation and teaching methods while they lead elementary school field trips on the farm. GroundED participants will also strengthen their public speaking through community engagement opportunities, including building free gardens for low and no-income residents throughout Thurston County.
A GRAVITY teacher will also be on site at GRuB, helping students continue GED studies in a classroom setting. Youth will be paid for their training time.
GRAVITY stands for GED+ Re-engagement Alternative Vocational Individualized Training for Youth. GRAVITY’s principal, Gerry Grubbs, first approached GRuB to explore the partnership. “The GRAVITY program has been very successful at helping students complete their GED, find work, and connect with the next step of their lives. One aspect of our program we want to improve is developing real hands-on course work. This would help our students build the soft skills they need for employment and leadership skills to empower them in the real world.
“GRuB has a long track record of using the real-life application of food production to create solid and incomparable learning experiences for youth. Rather than spend time developing a new program, it made more sense to collaborate with a well-respected youth program already in operation,” Grubbs explained.
GRuB is celebrating 20 years of youth empowerment programming!. Since 1999, we've served 400 teens and young adults in the South Puget Sound region, offering paid and accredited employment training, and leadership skill development curriculum.
Wade Uyeda,GRuB’s Youth Programs Co-Manager, believes the GRuB model of working with youth in local high schools will translate with this new crop of students. “The teens and young adults going through GroundED will have the same powerful experience that we’ve been able to offer students in the Olympia, Tumwater, and Eatonville school districts,” Uyeda said.
Students who want to complete their GED can apply for the summer or fall GroundED session. The application will be available on our website.
“We need the community’s help to spread the word, to ensure these youth know about and can access this opportunity, and to support us to ensure these youth are successful in overcoming barriers,” Uyeda said.