Growing Power Training: Giving Back to the Community
by X’Zayvion McCoy, project intern*
Participating in Will Allen’s Growing Power workshop was really an eye opening experience. You often hear of individuals or an organization making an attempt to give back to the community but to actually get on the inside of a successful organization was highly inspirational. Will Allen focuses on all aspects of the community including providing jobs to the surrounding community, supplying the youth with valuable work experience, and also providing the local public schools and even restaurants with healthy foods, but the buck doesn’t stop there. Will offers workshops aimed towards training other community leaders or organizations his trade. Will Allen’s commitment to the community and unselfish character has gained national attention. These are all things you find out about Growing Power from just reading but to actually understand Mr. Allen’s effectiveness and dedication in the community its vital to get a first-hand experience of what goes on at Growing Power and how.
The work ethic required to maintain Growing Power’s daily functions is quite remarkable. Each staff member, young and old, are accredited with Growing Power’s success. Although one may think the Growing Power facility would be difficult to maintain, the sustainable methods used in everyday tasks seems to make the facility quite manageable. Everything seems to be connected to everything else in some kind of way. For example, the fish which are grown and sold are used to provide nutrients to the plants through an aquaponic system. The plants grown are then sold to other companies or used at the facility and then used for composting materials. Nothing seems to go to waste at Growing Power. It was amazing to see the many connections Will Allen has been able to make in terms of bringing entire communities together by supplying healthy foods, education, and work experience. Overall, as a resident of Milwaukee I was moved by Will Allen’s effort to make not only the surrounding community a better place but also other communities in the country. They have it all figured out down at Growing Power.
X’Zayvion is an intern to the CRFS project. He hails from Milwaukee, and is currently a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. X’Zayvion recently attended a Growing Power workshop.