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HIPTeens Horitcultural Internship Program

Teens With a Purpose Horticultural/Agricultural Internship Program for Teens


Teens With a Purpose believes that “LEARNERS ARE THE CO-CREATORS OF KNOWLEDGE”. Along with the beautification of a blighted community, HIPTerns become teachers, leaders, and learners modeling the power of collective work, shared resources, and the importance of valuing every person as essential to the health and wellbeing of the body known as humanity.  This program creates pathways for youth to shift from consumers to PRODUCERS able to effect change in their community and in the world, creating much-needed beautiful spaces, cleaner air, food, create peace, hope, and inspiration as they gain opportunities for prosperity and personal transformation. 


Our goal in HIPTerns is to help develop & support young leaders, especially those from the St. Paul’s Quadrant of Norfolk.  HIPterns become the role models for their community through their work centered around the Urban Garden at Purpose Park while becoming prepared to enter the workforce armed with new skills, credentials, and confidence.

HIPtern’s pillars are 1) Workforce Development, 2) Environmental Stewardship, 3) Entrepreneurship, 4) STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics), and 5) Holistic Health. 

Workforce Development – Skills Building: Communication; Teamwork; Civic Responsibility; Problem-solving; Time management; Critical thinking; Decision-making; Organizational; Stress management 

Environmental stewardship: ensure increased access & availability of healthy food for the community offering participants a pathway to the green industry.  They acquire knowledge and ability to lead & promote small-scale urban food production while building a culture of resilience, security, health, & social depth; environmental stewardship strengthens a sense of place & promotes active involvement in ecological & social citizenship; Increase life’s quality!


Entrepreneurship:  Young people create their own business & share the profits.  Marketing herbs, flowers and produce from the garden to local restaurants, farmers’ markets, and other businesses. Learning personal finance; business development; production & distribution.

STEAM:  every aspect of care & production of the garden including site planning, cultivating seedling starts, soil science, seed saving, planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, keeping records, building, and repair of beds. Painting and designing all of which incorporates science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics.  Participants work beside, scientists, master gardeners, engineers, landscape architects, visual artists, and other community members.

HOLISTIC HEALTH:  Participants engage in regular outdoor activities including yoga classes; nature field trips plus culinary arts & nutrition.

Each of the interns will dedicate 5 hours per week in the garden; one field trip per month; two special workshops per month between March – December and planning sessions in January & February.  A monthly stipend is awarded upon meeting the monthly requirements.

Interns also earn certificates of completion for training and development skills gain issued by Teens With a Purpose and various collaborative partners along with letters of recommendation outlining all the specific skills gained that may be shared with future employers and or for college applications and scholarships.   Partners include Virginia Cooperative; Bank of America; Norfolk Botanical Garden; Commune Restaurant – Norfolk; Virginia Tech & Professors Joanna Fowler and Bill Fowler.

Thank You Bank of America, Tidewater Children’s Foundation

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