Youth Development & Education

Engage youth, teach leadership, invest in our future.

We engage young people through community-based pedagogies to understand all parts of the food system, envision positive change, and learn the tools for transforming systems and changing lives.

A new kind of leadership is needed to solve the complex problems of our times. How to we cultivate leaders that establish trust, listen, bring people into the process of shaping their futures, demonstrate flexibility, and have a sense of humor and humility, to support transformational change?


Catherine Sands teaches at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the Sustainable Food and Farming and Sustainability Sciences Programs.

Her courses in Community Food Systems and Food Justice and Policy bring students into intentional collaboration with community-based organizations, providing experiences and organizational project support including:

  • Coaching high school students to develop a needs assessment for their school food program
  • Supporting urban farmers with developing tracking systems
  • Interviewing youth leaders to evaluate their youth program