Today we want to say thank you to Chelsea deRochemont, our Spring 2020 Education Intern! Chelsea started working for Project GROWS in January and has been an incredible addition to the team throughout her internship. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Project GROWS has been working to make many of our programs and resources available online. Chelsea has done an enormous amount of work behind-the-scenes to support both the team and the community during this transition. Unfortunately, this also means that she has not had the opportunity to interact with students and members of the community in-person. Despite this, Chelsea has been an incredibly hard worker and an endless source of kindness, inspiration, and positivity for the Project GROWS team.

While reflecting on her time at Project GROWS, Chelsea writes, “I am immensely grateful for being welcomed so warmly by the Augusta County community, whose collective innovation, resilience, and warmth blew me away, and by the individuals who make up Project GROWS.  If there is one word that defined my experience with Project GROWS over the last five months, it is growth.  I witnessed growth on the farm, growth in the Project GROWS team, which is committed to consciously evolving to meet the needs of their community, and growth within myself.”

Chelsea continues, “the deep ties that Project GROWS has with the community and the collaboration it is a part of taught me so much about how a healthy community can function.  I know, however, that what I was able to understand in my five months only scratches the surface.  I hope to carry what I did learn, and a resounding sense of humility and curiosity for the people and places around me, into a path of helping to build better communities.  I look forward to doing so through paths such as sustainable community development, food system reform, social justice advocacy, land management, and community healing and mindfulness.  I may never become a food educator or a farmer, but I will not soon forget the impact that a strong, local food network can have or the absolute necessity, and right, for all people to be nourished.”

We are incredibly grateful for what Chelsea has done for both the Project GROWS team and for the community! While it is sad to see her go, we know that Chelsea will have a very successful future, and we are excited to see where her next steps take her!