Sixteen-year-old Winona Kay Holderbaum was amazed the first time she visited the High Line. “As a little girl, I used to pass by the overgrown bridge with my father, and I always wondered why no one could go up there,” she says.
Winona is one of ten teens selected from among 90 applicants for this year’s Green Corps program. Since January, the teens have been spending their afternoons at the High Line, earning a paycheck and receiving valuable job experience in fields like urban ecology, horticulture, and sustainability. This week is the teens’ spring break, and they’ve been working daily at the park, helping the High Line Gardeners and High Line Educators complete Spring Cutback .
Created in response to community requests for job training and teen-focused programs at the High Line, Green Corps is a six-month initiative by Friends of the High Line that teaches area youth horticultural skills and trains them for careers in growing industries. The program began as a week-long pilot program  in 2012, thanks to support from the Nathan Cummings Foundation. This year the program was expanded to six months, thanks to leading support from the Ford Foundation, and additional support from The Palette Fund.
Although she lives in our neighborhood, 19-year-old Raquel Rosado visited the High Line only a handful of times before joining Green Corps. Since January, Rosado has learned about sustainability, horticulture, and team-building. “I enjoy working here and seeing the work I’ve accomplished,” she adds. “It’s an amazing feeling.”
Green Corps is already setting its members up for future careers as green leaders. We were thrilled to see Carla Hernández, an alumna of the 2012 Green Corps, join the Clean Energy Corps , and we can’t wait to see what the class of 2013 achieves.
Have ideas about how we can further engage the community? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Green Corps is part of High Line Community Engagement, which is generously supported by the Ford Foundation. Additional support for Green Corps comes from The Palette Fund.