Our Mission Statement
The NEXT Steps Youth Entrepreneur Program introduces youth to career pathways in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M.) by teaching them how to convert transferable farm and market management skills into civic leadership, social entrepreneurism, environmental stewardship, socio-economic and community development (health and wellness), and urban agritourism initiatives.
As a strategic planning and youth entrepreneur training program, the NEXT Steps Youth Entrepreneur Youth Entrepreneur Program (NEXT Steps) has been successful in teaching students and their community supporters how to identify and make use of community resources that are available to them “within their own backyards”. NEXT Steps has learned to use the urban farm environment as an educational site for community workshops, school field trips and internships in gardening, but also for mentoring services to the youth and the community. Our deliverables include: increased food security, wetland and native plant restoration, landscaping, horticulture, workshops in leadership, violence prevention and health promotion, skills in production, marketing, and business management, job and life skills that help improve the overall security and future potential of the residents surrounding our farm community.
Coming upon our 5th anniversary, The NEXT Steps Youth Entrepreneur Program has evolved from a basic youth education program to a driving force behind Atlanta’s young urban agriculture movement. Through our signature Community Involvement Growth Strategy (CIGS) Organizational Management Model, we have successfully executed training and development activities in strategic planning & management with a niche in capacity building within a five mile radius of our training farm sites. This strategy has allowed us to penetrate the urban agriculture market in Atlanta with stunning success — gaining local and national recognition as one of the trendsetters for the urban agriculture movement in Atlanta by Mayor Kasim Reed (National Food Day Celebration, Oct 2012), Emory University’s Sixteen City Survey publication (June 2011) and the Atlanta Food Commons Network. Deloitte Consulting has also selected NEXT Steps as their next project model for national launch and distribution (similar to Junior Achievement).
Dana Jewel Harris, Founder
NEXT Steps Youth Entrepreneur Program
Photo Credit: xoxoatlanta