It takes something special for a teenager who lives in the Bronx to wake up every Saturday morning and make it to Brooklyn before 10:00 am. And yet, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has a steady stream of them coming week after week, 9-months at a time, often for all four years of high school. Through the Garden Apprentice Program
these teenagers tend to the campus's sprawling gardens, study agriculture and teach visitors of all ages about botany and plant evolution. As they work their way up the four-tier program, potentially earning a paid position as a Senior Apprentice by 12th grade, teens learn to conduct garden-based activities for young children, explore nuanced horticultural subjects of their choosing, and support their peers to cultivate their own plots. By the time they've completed high school, they've got the skill set to pursue careers in agriculture or environmental education, but more importantly, they've got a lifelong love for gardening, and lifelong friends and mentors.