College-bound students get hands-on agricultural experience at CIS

by Rebecca Elmore
University of Guam

More than 60 high school students received hands-on agricultural training with the University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability (CIS) on July 18 through UOG’s Upward Bound program. The Upward Bound program is designed to motivate and prepare low-income or first-generation college students to pursue a college education.

The agricultural opportunity at CIS was the start of a new STEM partnership between the two organizations.

“We want the kids to have a hands-on experience — something that they could also practice at home long term and benefit not just the community, but themselves as well,” said Vivian Valdes, Educational Specialist Advisor for Upward Bound.

The students volunteered at the center’s UOG Green Garden, where they learned sustainable agricultural practices and planted more than 60 “earth buckets,” or plants designated for community food distribution.

“With each earth bucket, the students learned how to properly grow and care for an assortment of vegetables and herbs,” said Raymond Shinohara, CIS Research Assistant. “In turn, we’re improving our island’s food security.”

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