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Growing Change


Growing Change
Growing Change

A group of young people is working to create a better future in North Carolina. By converting a dilapidated prison into a prosperous, environmentally friendly farm, rather than the conventional approach. This initiative, called "Growing Change," offers a powerful model for social change, tackling multiple issues simultaneously.


The program targets young men facing challenges at home, school, or with the criminal justice system. They might be on probation, kicked out of school, or struggling with mental health or substance abuse. Life Skills & Second Chances: "Growing Change" provides these young men with a chance to avoid incarceration. They receive valuable life skills training in animal care, sustainable gardening, and even business management. This empowers them with practical knowledge and boosts their confidence.


Since 2011, "Growing Change" has helped over 100 young people stay out of jail. A remarkable 92% of program graduates remain arrest-free for at least two years, demonstrating a significant reduction in recidivism. Improved Well-being: The program goes beyond skills training. It addresses the root causes of these young men's struggles. Participants experience improved mental and physical health through a structured environment and meaningful work.





The program participants learn valuable business skills by selling eggs and meat raised on the farm to local residents. This fosters a sense of purpose and contribution to the community. Sustainable Solutions: SDG 11 in Action: "Growing Change" directly contributes to Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. They promote sustainable agriculture and local food production, a win for the environment and public health. The program creates jobs in rural areas, a region often hit hard by economic hardship. This not only benefits the participants but also revitalizes the community.



The GrowingChange “Big Picture Continuum”
The GrowingChange “Big Picture Continuum”

By reducing crime and recidivism, "Growing Change" contributes to public safety. They create positive alternatives for young people, leading to a safer and more peaceful environment for everyone. Green Space & Recreation: The transformed prison becomes a green space, offering recreational opportunities and a connection to nature for the community. Beyond Farming: Hands-on Learning: The program offers a diverse range of hands-on learning experiences. Participants learn animal care by tending to chickens and pigs. They cultivate a variety of fruits and vegetables using sustainable farming practices, promoting environmental awareness. Holistic Support: "Growing Change" recognizes that rehabilitation requires more than just skills training. The program provides participants with crucial support services like job and housing assistance, counseling, and mentorship. By offering a path to rehabilitation, sustainable agriculture, and community engagement, "Growing Change" paves the way for a more equitable and sustainable future, not just in North Carolina, but across the globe.


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More information & image credits: https://www.growingchange.org/



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