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Creator Core Program, 2016-19

Our Creator Core program was designed to provide jobs, intimate mentorship, and professional development for the next generation of Urban Creator leaders. From 2016-2019, our main intention was to invest deeply in our most passionate young people, train and empower them to take on leadership positions within the organization, and support them in identifying personal passions, goals, and developing skills that prepare them meaningful career paths. We have supported our youth leaders as they have developed the confidence, technical skills, and pedagogy to lead farm tours and volunteer projects, curate and promote public events, grow and distribute organic produce, and co-facilitate outreach campaigns and educational programming.      

summer youth leadership program, 2013-19

Each summer, since 2013, we have facilitated 6-weeks of employment & educational opportunities for 15-30 teenagers at Life Do Grow farm. We have engaged our young people in a range of food & social justice workshops, community design exercises, carpentry, landscaping, and agriculture training, community organizing, and public event curation.

Between 2013-19, we provided 53 young people with summer jobs, many of whom returned 3, 4, 5, and in some cases 6 years in a row. Through this process, many of these young people have developed technical skills, expand their social networks, and set & achieved significant personal goals!

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youth action assembly, 2016

In July 2016, Philadelphia hosted the Democratic National Convention. In the months leading up to the DNC, we became increasingly concerned with the lack of youth engagement in the convention, and began building a vision with many of our allies to address that this issue.

Our collective goal was to amplify the voices of our next generation of young leaders, have an intergenerational exchange, and work together to devise action plans & public policy to address these issues at a systemic level.

On July 26th & 27th, in collaboration with 28 Philadelphia based organizations, youth programs, and city agencies, the Urban Creators successfully hosted Action Assembly. The conference engaged over 600 Philadelphia youth in a series of artistically inspired, youth-panel discussions designed with the intention of inspiring inter-generational dialogue and collaboration between our emerging youth leaders, adult allies, and local political leaders.


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In 2015, the Urban Creators piloted the REGENERATION program in collaboration with the Mural Arts Guild, funded by the US Department of Justice, McArthur Foundation, and Philadelphia’s Office of Public Safety. REGENERATION was designed to improve the overall public health, safety, and equity of North Philadelphia by engaging formerly incarcerated young people as pioneers in the revitalization of their own communities.

For 6 months, we collaboratively provided provided jobs, workforce training, and engaged 15 participants in urban agriculture, public art, and community revitalization projects in the 22nd Police District of North Philadelphia. This program successfully helped reduce recidivism by 20%, (17% amongst graduates compared to the national average of 35%), as well as Part 1 Violent Crime which has dropped by 40% since 2008 in the immediate area surrounding Life Do Grow Farm.