Students from a school for pregnant and parenting teens will show off their green thumbs this summer at a prestigious conference in South Africa.
Six girls from Detroit’s Catherine Ferguson Academy have become experts in urban gardening and farming. Recently, they were selected to present their skills at the Youth Entrepreneurship Conference in Soweto this summer.
To practice for the trip, the students were at a vacant lot on Temple St. in Detroit Tuesday to build a greenhouse.
“We’ve already built one [greenhouse] at the school,” said CFA Prinicipal Asenath Andrews. “Today is our final run, so when we get to South Africa we can just hit the ground knowing what we’re doing and how to put it together.”
The materials used to build the greenhouse on Temple St. were donated by Slow’s BBQ Restaurant in Detroit. Owner Phil Cooley said he was excited to be involved.
“I think that the students are doing an amazing thing. I support this educational initiative and wanted to give back to the community,” he said.
As part of the project, students are required to use their experience to develop a business venture in Detroit for at least one year.
“My students are looking forward to learning about solar energy suitcases and international entrepreneurship and bringing those skills back to begin creating jobs and careers for themselves and others in the city of Detroit,” said Andrews.
Detroit City Councilman James Tate, who has been working to reduce the rate of teen pregnancy in the city, said the students involved in the project are setting a great example.
“The young ladies of Catherine Ferguson Academy are so inspirational and resilient,”said Tate. “Despite their sometimes difficult circumstances as a result of becoming teen mothers, it’s clear that they understand the importance of sharing knowledge and experience with others in order to improve the lives of those who may be less fortunate.”
While the students have done a great deal of fundraising for their trip, Andrews says they still need more money. For more information on donations, call Andrews at 313-596-4771.