Working With Their Hands

An outdoor internship helps teens Mikayla and Taylor connect with their community.

Mikayla (17) and Taylor (16) thought they were interviewing for an office internship when they pulled up to Nalwoodi Denzhone Community (NDC) which, through a community garden and farmer’s market, food production, and arts and youth education programs, is a source of hope and pride for the people of the San Carlos Apache Reservation.

The teens soon realized those nice heels weren’t going to be much help planting vegetables and tending to chickens. “That first day they put us to work,” said Taylor. “Outside!

Mikayla and Taylor outside
Mikayla and Taylor caring for plants

Studies show that teenagers are spending significantly less time participating in outdoor activities than previous generations. At NDC, Mikayla and Taylor learned an appreciation for nature. “Everybody is always just inside, on their phones, and not worrying about things like the environment and a healthier food system. It made me realize there’s so much to do outside,” said Taylor.

They also spent time improving conditions of a nearby orphanage and mentoring kids there. “That made me feel happy,” said Mikayla, “that I was helping these kids, and seeing them smile.”

Newman’s Own proudly supports the Nalwoodi Denzhone Community, which helps transform the lives of Native youth through food production, summer camps and the arts in the San Carlos Apache community in Arizona.

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