On May 4, Lebanon County PA YAP had a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new greenhouse. The day's speakers included Sally Barry, Director of Lebanon County Probation Services, Senator Mike Folmer, Pennsylvania 48th Senate District, Jeanne Arnold of The Edward and Jeanne Arnold Foundation, Maurice Day, Youth Youth, and Loir Burrus, YAP National Developmental Disabilities Coordinator.
YAP GREENWORKS provides the addition of 1000 square-foot commercial greenhouse to our gardening initiatives already in place for the past 10 years and extends the growing season for all four seasons. YAP participants operate the greenhouse and over 30 program participants have spent 400 hours of meaningful work experience and community service in its construction.
WORK EXPERIENCE YAP Green Works affords project participants the opportunity to acquire specific vocational skills such as carpentry, framing, using basic tools, excavation, concrete, wiring, and plumbing in addition to valuable “softskills” needed in the workforce. YAP staff work alongside project participants, offering coaching, feedback, and guidance.
SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY Many YAP youth are court mandated to complete community service. YAP Green Works provides youth with anopportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the communitythrough their service while acquiringskills and learningabout important resources. Importantly, youth begin to realize their own potential and capacityto help others. Thistransformationempowers youth to seethemselves as contributors as opposed to clients/service recipients.
MEETING FINANCIAL NEED Many youth havedifficultfinancial needsthat weigh heavily upon them, often in overwhelming ways. Through plant and produce sales, a portion of future revenues will provide specific youth with high financial needs the opportunity to earn an hourly wage for their contribution to YAP Green Works.
IMPROVING PHYSICAL HEALTH Many community members lack access to healthy and affordable food. A portion of the produce grown through YAP Green Works will be available tofamilies in need across the county.