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  • Writer's pictureHistoric Ithaca

Work Preserve: Graduating to Greener Pastures

Elijah came to us this fall from Rwanda by way of Missouri with a straight forward goal: learn to farm. Although we didn't have the resources here to get him all the way there, he spent his days learning skills that play into owning and operating a functioning farm: woodworking, painting and staining, customer-service, et cetera. His restorations of furniture brought into the SE shop were fan favorites and it was awesome to see his confidence grow as he practiced. See the photo for Elijah's favorite project during his time at WP, a shelving unit he built for the workshop with some very creative solutions!

Friday was Elijah's last day at Work Preserve and we sat down to ask him a few questions about his time here. When asked what was the best lesson he took away from WP he quoted our Warehousing & Traditional Skills Trainer Jordan, "Move like a turtle, not a rabbit." Patience is key for Elijah. He says he learned to breathe and not get ahead of himself so he can complete a project correctly the first time. Elijah also said he

learned to say what is on his mind at Work Preserve, "I learned to be myself; I'm comfortable here, it is a good environment." He advises new participants coming into the program to speak up. and let the staff know what your goals are, "If you have something you want to do, keep at it and they will help you."

What's next for Elijah? He will be working at Indian Creek Farms four days a week helping with their fruit tree production. He also will receive a 1.5 acre plot from Groundswell that he plans to tend to three days a week where he says, "I'm going to grow everything." We can't wait to see it!

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