Intern grows his talents at community garden

Daquan Peart, with FedEx officials on his left and City Parks Foundation representatives on his right, surround by children from Philip H. Michaels Child Care Center to celebrate the announcement of Peart at the first summer intern to Grove Hill Learning Garden on Wednesday, July 22. Photo Courtesy of City Parks Foundation

Helping to sow the seeds for a greener future, one Bronx student participated in a summer internship with City Parks Foundation.

Through a sponsorship from FedEx, CPF, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to organizing park programs in New York City, hired Daquan Peart as a full-time intern in the Grove Hill Learning Garden, located on E. 158th Street and Eagle Avenue.

“We moved into the area in March of 2008 and prior to that we met with the community board to ask what we could do to be good neighbors,” said Joe Gomez, station manager for the Bronx E. 132nd Street FedEx. “We said we would get involved in parks and the beautification of the Bronx.”

Peart, a recent Eagle Academy High School graduate, was selected from a long list of applicants for his volunteer history, school attendance, grades, career interests, and recommendations from his instructors.

On Wednesday, July 22, the seven-week internship began with dignitaries from CRP and FedEx representative, along with children from Philip H. Michaels Child Care Center joining Daquan for some outdoor fun.

“I am here to support my student. I’ve been working with Daquan since he was in the 10th grade and all through his college process,” said Donald Ruff, director of College and Career Planning at Eagle Academy. “He has always expressed an interest in working with children and when this opportunity came up I nominated him. Its great to see a student doing what he is interested in.”

Peart worked with children that participated in the summer program, as well as with local organizations, seniors and residents that use the garden.

According to senior and local resident Domitila Sanabria, it is important for people to learn about and take advantage of the garden.

“We are cultivating food that we eat, and I share it with neighbors and at the senior center,” said Sanabria, who learned of the garden through her grandchild.

Supervised by Grove Hill’s Learning Gardens educator Dan Trudeau, Peart was able to implement valuable skills, preparing him for a future of working with children.

“I want to pursue early childhood development, and this job helped me to understand how children learn and how to help them in the classroom,” said Peart. “This was my first job so it is a great stepping stone for me and gave me the confidence I need.”

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