New Beginnings

week one

On the farm we are gearing up for the start of the 5th season of Teen’s On-The-Rise! Tomorrow marks the first session of the eight weeks of programming that will engage students in active learning across Springfield. For this season of Teen’s On-The-Rise we will be traveling all over town and exposing our youth to the great things that Springfield has to offer while they gain new life skills that will allow them for a step in the direction of success. We’re so very excited to meet our new students tomorrow and begin our work. Over the next eight weeks our students will learn about mental health, personal finance, healthy eating, higher education, employment options and much more! Our students are even going to get the opportunity to attend the Chamber of Commerce Expo so that they can get a real idea of all the potential that Springfield has to offer. Here’s to new beginnings and to the 5th season of Teen’s On-The-Rise!

Kid’s Carrot Company: Struggle and Triumph

Kids Carrot Co

Back in the cold months of January a few of our youth were hard at work at the annual business meeting for the Kids Carrot Company. This organization was created by our youth for our youth with the main goal of ending poverty. The youth plant, grow and sell the carrots during the summer farmers market and they keep the money that they have earned during the process. In January, they got together to create their business plan. They identified the variety of carrots they wanted to grow, planed how they would run the stand and worked with Ms. Deb to create the atmosphere of a good business practice.

At the beginning of the summer the youth worked hard to get a large vegetable garden planted. They grew a plethora of vegetables including the variety of carrots that they had decided on in January. They watered and waited and did this again and again. The carrots were not growing as they should have. The youth had a small group of the carrots that had taken off but not nearly enough to sell. This was an important lesson in failure. They had to start again. The youth kept on working with the little patch to keep it growing but they replanted seeds for the rest of the carrots and again went back to watering and waiting. Nervous that they just wouldn’t survive the youth waited patiently.

To everyone’s joy the carrots took off. They started to transform from little lines in the dirt to fluffy green patches. They grew and grew and while it was a late bloom the Kids Carrot Co. is ready to take their hard work to the farmers market and share it with the community. The youth worked so incredibly hard for this produce and seeing their vision come to light is simply beautiful.

Kids Carrot Company


Returning The Favor

If you know the name Mike Rowe you might first associate him with the show Dirty Jobs. However, Mike Rowe’s career as a TV host, writer, narrator, producer, actor and spokesman reaches much further than his over 300 dirty jobs which is evident in his web series Returning The Favor. This web series catalogs Mike Rowe’s endeavors to find individuals who are giving back to their communities and he returns the favor.

This spring, On-The-Rise was in for a big surprise when they were asked to participate in a video that would be used to benefit the organization. With little information on the video or its use, founders Debbie McCullough and Cathy Tofstad were wary of the the proposal. After sixteen years of running the On-The-Rise program they were bound to protect it. Carefully treading forward, they proceeded with the project only to be shocked by the altruistic nature of what was truly going on.

On-The-Rise is deeply grateful for the generosity of the students and family that nominated the program, for Mike Rowe, and for everyone involved in making this act of returning the favor.