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Jesse and Omar on D.I.R.T.

Editor's note: this is the second blog entry from participants of this year's Academic Year Program (a.k.a. D.I.R.T.)

By Jesse Mishra & Omar Omar

I’m Omar Omar and I’m fifteen years old and I live in Dorchester.
I’m Jesse Mishra and I’m fifteen years old and I live in Newton.

We are both members of the 2009-2010 AYP/D.I.R.T. crew. Our D.I.R.T. Crew is a group of youth that participated in the Summer Youth Program and have continued working with The Food Project into the academic year. Both of us, have really enjoyed our experiences with D.I.R.T. so far. For Omar, working with D.I.R.T. has convinced him that he wants to give back to his community and work hard for the continued growth of his community.

D.I.R.T. gives all of the youth participants many opportunities that we would not ordinarily receive. For example, it gives us the chance to become leaders and to show off our leadership skills in the Serve and Grow program, where we lead volunteers around the farm. It teaches us to become better public speakers, through Serve and Grow, and creates open and safe environments in which everyone learns to feel comfortable speaking publicly.

For Jesse, working with D.I.R.T. Crew has shown him the powerful change that anyone, regardless of age or class can create. D.I.R.T. shows us that youth can make a great difference in the world simply by sacrificing their time.

Both of us have really benefited from the diversity of the youth in D.I.R.T. Crew. Working in D.I.R.T. gives us the opportunity to meet people we would never ordinarily meet. In D.I.R.T., we have befriended each other. Some of the friends we make are different from the people we see in our respective communities, giving us the chance to branch out to new and intriguing people. That’s an invaluable gift. To see someone else’s viewpoint and way of living is something you can live all your life without doing, unless you challenge yourself to know otherwise. We are both thankful for the opportunities D.I.R.T. Crew and The Food Project have given us.

- Omar and Jesse

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