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Welcoming Hazel!

Updated: Jul 1, 2023

Our team is overjoyed to be able to welcome a new teammate to the Community Roots gang! We would love it if everyone could take time with us to welcome our newest member Hazel Hott to the crew and learn more about this mentee and what brought them to Community Roots!

For the next four weeks, Hazel will be joining the Community Roots task force, while learning about the organizational operations that go behind the scenes of a nonprofit organization like ours. Hazel first approached our President and Greenhouse Director, Kim and Emily, recently at the Career Center during an Internship Fair. Soon after, Hazel then reached out to us about their Pre-Professional mentorship (PPM) program at the Knox County Career Center and how Community Roots could get involved while providing support to this program and to Hazel's interests.

Hazel is currently a senior at the Career Center and participated in this PPM program, which allows seniors the opportunity to choose and shadow different businesses and career interests to gain a better insight into possible paths that might interest each student to pursue once they are finished with high school. Hazel has been eager to help Community Roots build something wonderful due to their interest in gardening at home. In their free time, Hazel enjoys spending time in their own garden as well as their succulent collection! When not busy with school and tasks at home, Hazel also really enjoys going roller skating throughout the week, finding Birch trees, and incorporating their favorite color of purple whenever they can.

Since Wednesday, Community Roots has been working with Hazel to create an experience that demonstrates all of the "in's-and-out" that is required in operating an organization such as ours. Eager to begin, Hazel dives right in during our Community Volunteer Day from 3 PM - 6 PM (Sign-Up Here). Joining Sydney, Nancy, and Emily in preparing for this past Saturday's Planet Palooza, we began picking up trash, weeding, and using this time to get to know one another along with getting to know the garden. Not soon after, this past weekend, Hazel joined Community Roots to help us set up, run, and tear down for our palooza! It was an exciting time to see Hazel's personality shine as they engaged with everyone who attended and helped us raise funding for a future garden shed with new merch created by our very own Secretary, Haley Benfeldt, and loads of help from Emily!

For the next few weeks, Hazel will be working with Community Roots by helping our VISTA, Sydney, with leading Transition-U programming, and recruiting volunteers, along with harvesting produce and helping out for our FIRST FARMER'S MARKET of the season (Saturday, May 6 from 9 AM - 12 PM at the Square in Mount Vernon)!!! We hope to be able to give Hazel more insight into the organizational operations that are required by attending one of Community Roots' regular Board Meetings. During this time, Hazel will be able to engage in the prepared agenda while understanding the purpose of implementing a board with organizations like this.

We are excited to be able to work not only with Hazel but with the Knox County Career Center as well. Through the Career Center offering this lab to Seniors, it has allowed our team the opportunity to be able to work with such a wonderful and talented individual like Hazel. So much energy and excitement have been shared amongst all of us throughout the past week and has us all even more excited to see what is in store for Hazel and Community Roots throughout the rest of their time with us! Stay tuned to see how Hazel's experience turns out and some favorite moments during our Planet Palooza!

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