Olivewood Gardens High School Programs

Olivewood has multiple opportunities for high school students to get involved in the gardens! There are three internships throughout the year; the Sustainable Urban Agriculture Internship in the fall, a Garden to Kitchen Internship in the spring, and the Youth Community Leadership Program.  These programs all include a job readiness component and are designed to benefit students from National City, CA. Programs and lessons are designed to give youth tools to support their growth professionally and personally. Lessons include garden preparation, propagation, civic engagement, maintenance, pest management, advocacy, nutrition education, culinary literacy, financial literacy, and other career development topics.

Our high school programs engage Sweetwater High School and other South Bay students that otherwise have little access to career development opportunities. In addition to the program-specific skills students learn, this program provides students with leadership and team-building opportunities along with practical job skills that will prepare them for college, work experience, or both.  The interns themselves form bonds of support through the shared work experiences that strengthen and encourage their confidence to succeed.

High school students are also able to complete required community service hours at Olivewood through our Volunteer Program which provides students a safe space to work outdoors in a collaborative and educational environment.  Students can volunteer in the garden, kitchen, with special events or projects, or in the office at a time that works best for their schedule.

For any questions, please contact the Youth Program Coordinator, Kelsey, at [email protected].

Internship Opportunities:

Youth Community Leadership Program

This program is for any teen grades 9-11 that wants to gain skills and knowledge surrounding community engagement, food systems & food justice, learning about food access and co-ops with this program culminating in a shared group project with a second cohort. Students will:

  • Learn about different aspects of their local food system
  • Learn about civic and community engagement
  • Create and engage in a community listening forum
  • Design and create a project at Olivewood based on community input



Sustainable Urban Agriculture Internship

The 2024 Program Begins January 11th!

During this internship, students will propagate plants & learn entrepreneurship skills that will culminate in a Spring Plant Sale for the community!

Students will:

  • Learn how to grow plants and food from soil to harvest
  • Work as a team to develop a cooperative
  • Learn about entrepreneurship and job skills useful in the workplace
  • Engage in community development through horticulture and agriculture as career paths or personal areas of growth



Garden-2-Kitchen Internship

This internship for covers topics such as basic gardening techniques, how to prepare recipes, introductions to both garden and culinary sciences, and budgeting. Interns will also be exposed to professionals in different career paths such as culinary, non-profit management, marketing, agriculture, nutrition science, catering, and event coordination. Participants will also gain skills in professional development presentations, time management, and have the opportunity to get a food handler’s certification. This is a great opportunity to learn how to grow food and prepare nutritious and delicious meals for you and your family!

Click Here to Apply


Support for our High School Leadership Programs is provided by:

Learn more about our Building Sustainable Communities Youth Leadership Program – Community Build 2021