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Our Roots Youth Program

Our Roots Youth Program


OurRoots School-Year (Three Chapters: VietRoots, PhillyRoots, JerseyRoots)

OurRoots School Year is a social justice leadership after school program for low income high school students in South Jersey and Philadelphia that consists of three projects: VietRoots (for Vietnamese speakers in Philadelphia), PhillyRoots (for English speakers in Philadelphia), and JerseyRoots (for any high school students in Pennsauken and Camden). Throughout the school year we engage students in active, hands-on learning processes in both theory and practice: students will learn about the connections of land and food to their lived experiences, and practice leadership & life skills such as cooking, gardening, and organizing community events. The program as a whole also aims to support juniors and seniors with their college and academic work at school. The 2015-2016 school-year marked our first year running the program in full capacity, and we expect to work with over 50 students through the three projects.


SumOurRoots Summer Service-Learning Project

SumOurRoots is a summer bilingual social justice internship program that engages Vietnamese- & Southeast Asian-identified high school students in Philadelphia in questions and issues related to the current living conditions that our communities are experiencing, along with our collective trauma and histories as an aftermath of the wars in Southeast Asia. A key theme we are exploring is, connected to the school year program, food, land, the food system, and what food sovereignty means for us. This summer, 25 students organized a Community Forum to showcase their analyses on the data collected from the 55 Vietnamese and Southeast Asian community members.

Seeds Summer Camp

10 Southeast Asian children from low-income, working class families in Camden and Pennsauken were recruited to our 6-week summer camp, which focused on academics (reading, math, and science) and had projects and fieldtrips connected to our Resilient Roots Farm. High school students from the RR Summer Internship led gardening and cooking workshops with the children.


About Rice

RICE is a summer internship program that engages high school students in an intensive work experience while challenging these youth to think critically about the current job system and its purposes. This summer, 31 Asian American, Black, and Latino youth were placed in 13 worksites all over the city – including DBHIDS, Asian Arts Initiative, Victim Witness Services, Don Pak Law, and more. At the end of the program, the students presented their experiences working and learning from their host organizations in front of an audience of over 50.


Resilient Roots Food Justice Internship

Resilient Roots Food Justice Internship is one of VietLead’s six-week paid summer programs for twelve Camden and Pennsauken high school students to learn about the connection between food and social justice issues in our communities by working intergenerationally alongside elders, adults and young children in our half-acre plot, Resilient Roots Community Farm. Our coinciding Seeds Summer Camp assisted the local Camden/Pennsauken Vietnamese community by providing affordable summer camp opportunities for the families of twelve children ages 6-11 who received academic support, engaged in creative and artistic projects and learned more about gardening and cooking through lessons taught by the Resilient Roots Food Justice Interns.