Watch Sylvester Brown, Jr. talk about the Sweet Potato Project and his vision for lifting inner city youth into a more prosperous and fulfilling life in this YouTube TED Talk here..
Below: The Sweet Potato Project (SPP), headed by Sylvester Brown, Jr. (second from left) works to teach youth in North St. Louis to learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship. Not only do they plant and grow sweet potatoes that eventually become cookies and other food items the group sells, but they take classes on marketing and business practices to learn how to grow their businesses in the future. The program is now in its third year and continues to expand.
The mission of the Sweet Potato Project is to restore economic activity in North St. Louis by creating alternative and progressive ways of producing and distributing locally-grown products. SPP teaches young men and women sustainable business and entrepreneurial skills that can change their lives. Each summer, teens receive a summer job where they plant sweet potatoes on vacant city and/or community lots. After Fall Harvest, students turn into their produce into products (cookies) that they sell throughout the year.
Photography by Chuck Ramsay
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