Chicago Botanic Garden


North Chicago Green Youth Farm

2008 North Chicago/Waukegan GYF Participants


Alex Cabell: 17, North Chicago Community High School
Alex is excited to work at GYF because she is a part of something larger. There are no grocery stores in her neighborhood and she is proud to plant, nurture, and harvest fresh food that otherwise wouldn't be available.


Sam Callahan: 15, Shoreland Lutheran High School
Sam first heard about GYF when he was participating in the Chicago Botanic Garden's Science First program. His favorite task on the farm is weeding and learning to use new tools. He decided to work here to branch out and learn new things.

PHOTO: Alondra

Alondra Cambray: 18, graduate of North Chicago High School
Alondra's first season has been fun since she enjoys working while getting to know other GYF students and working together. She also loves eating the tasty community lunches cooked with produce from the farm, especially the mashed potatoes and turnips. Her favorite teambuilder is jailbreak.

PHOTO: Semeka

Semeka Cunningham: Crew Leader, 18, graduate of North Chicago High School
This is Semeka's third year at GYF and second year as a crew leader. So far this season, she especially enjoyed her chance to cook a community lunch for fellow GYF students, when she made burritos with potatoes, zucchini, peppers, onions, and garlic from the farm. She is headed off to college in the fall at Northern Arizona University, where she hopes to study nursing.

PHOTO: Fernando

Fernando Garcia: Crew Leader, 18, graduate of Waukegan High School
Fernando returned this year and was promoted to crew leader for his stellar leadership skills. He is looking forward to helping out on the farm this fall while he attends classes at the College of Lake County.

PHOTO: Marina

Marina Garcia: Crew Leader, 16, Waukegan High School
Marina came back for her second year at GYF as a crew leader. She decided to come back because she had so much fun last season. She says it is a tough job to be a crew leader but she is up to the challenge and loves working with her crew.

PHOTO: Addie

Addie Guzman: 17, Waukegan High School
Addie returned to GYF for her second season because she likes meeting new people and learning new ways to cook the food she grows here. She also works at a garden at her church. She also really enjoys art at workshops at GYF and is very creative.

PHOTO: Julio

Julio Guzman: 15, Waukegan High School
Julio is one of GYF's star tour guides. He learned a lot during his first season at GYF. One of his favorite days was cooking for county commissioners and getting a chance to practice his public speaking skills.

PHOTO: Khalil

Khalil Harris: Crew Leader, 17, Waukegan High School
Khalil returned for his second season at GYF. His favorite farm tasks are mowing and moving compost. He also really enjoyed cooking for the Cook County commissioners and has learned a lot about growing and cooking food. He is excited about what he is doing and loves to tell others about the farm!

PHOTO: Rachel

Rachel Jackson: 16, Waukegan High School
Rachel's favorite part of her first season has been learning about growing and harvesting all kinds of vegetables. In the future, she hopes to work in chemistry and public health and thinks her experience at GYF can help her keep people healthy.

PHOTO: Ambria

Ambria Johnson: 15, North Chicago High School
Ambria returned for her second season at GYF because she enjoyed harvesting so much last year. Her favorite garden activities are eating strawberries out of the garden and harvesting onions. She heard about the farm from her brother, Josh.


Josh Johnson: 17, North Chicago Community High School
Josh is in the midst of his third season at GYF and has learned a lot about having a job and growing food. His favorite task is watering the things he has helped to plan. In his free time, Josh trains as a boxer.

PHOTO: Crishana

Crishana Mayfield: 15, Zion-Benton High School
Crishana is another alumnus of the Chicago Botanic Garden's Science First program. She has really enjoyed accomplishing her goal of getting to know everyone who works at the farm. Her favorite part of her job is working with her crew.

PHOTO: Demetrius

Demetrius Nance: 17, North Chicago Community High School
Demetrius returned for his second season after working at GYF in the summer of 2006. He likes the job perk of being able to try new things like eggplant, kale, and rhubarb. He also likes the hours, which fit in well with his sports practices. His favorite part of the day at GYF is during the teambuilding activities and games.

PHOTO: Daisy

Daisy Ochoa: 15, Waukegan High School
Daisy heard about GYF from her brother, Paulo, and is enjoying her first season. Working in crews on farm work reminds her of being part of a soccer team, because you have to work together and consider others' needs to get things done.

PHOTO: Paulo

Paulo Ochoa: Crew Leader, 18, graduate of Waukegan High School
Paulo applied to be a part of GYF in 2007 because a friend didn't think he could do it. Now, as a crew leader, Paulo's outlook has completely changed. Paulo thinks it is important to be aware how pesticides affect food and the environment and to think about what you eat. Paulo will be attending classes this fall at the College of Lake County.

PHOTO: Mario

Mario Padilla, 15, Waukegan High School
While Mario doesn't like getting up in time to get to work, he loves meeting new people and having fun during the team-building activities. Mario works hard at GYF, but he thinks it is an easy job because it is so much fun.

PHOTO: Alexi

Alexi Samuels-Zecher: 17, Waukegan High School
Alexi is returning for her second season because the people she works with at GYF are so different and funny. Her favorite part is working hard, earning money, and knowing that she earned it.

PHOTO: Randall

Randall Styles: 17, Waukegan High School
Randall is returning for his second year at GYF. Randall's favorite parts of his job are art workshops and working with his crew. In his free time, he loves to play basketball.

PHOTO: Katherine

Katherine Williams: 16, Waukegan High School
Every day, Katherine is enjoying her first season at GYF more and more. She really enjoys getting to know new people and working as a team to get the farm work done. She is no stranger to teamwork; in her free time, Katherine plays competitive badminton.


Joe Young: 17, graduate of Waukegan High School
Joe heard about the farm through his friends and wanted to learn more about gardening and working outside. This spring he graduated form Waukegan High School and is headed to the University of Wisconsin at Parkside, where he will be playing soccer.

PHOTO: Kevin

Kevin Young: 19, Growing Apprentice
Kevin came back for his second year to learn more about sustainable agriculture by being a growing apprentice. He really loves working hard outside, the more physical the better. He thinks GYF has helped him to become more of a people person — to be accepting and accepted.

North Chicago Staff 2008

      Volunteers 2008
PHOTO: Heidi   PHOTO: Quinn   PHOTO: Sarah   PHOTO: Lynne   PHOTO: Andrew    PHOTO: Dee  
Heidi Quinn Sarah Lynne Andrew   Dee