Growing Food, Supporting Youth
Alaska Seeds of Change employs and empowers local youth, promoting self-reliance and community involvement, to grow and sell fresh produce.
Building skills within our future generations
Alaska Seeds of Change works with young people ages 16-24 to help them develop the vocational and personal skills needed to become successful adults. Most staff initially start at Seeds as apprentices, by volunteering for school credit or through an apprenticeship program with one of our partner agencies.
Those who have successfully completed an apprenticeship at Alaska Seeds of Change are eligible to apply for continuing work as a Greenhouse Grower. In this position, they mentor the next generation of apprentices.
We tend to look for people without much job experience, especially those who want to learn both how to get and keep a job, and a little extra about how to be an adult. Even though we are a program of AKBH, employees do not need to be clients or meet any special qualifications. Alaska Seeds of Change is not a treatment program or a traditional employer; we are a community of people who support each other and share knowledge to help each other succeed.
Youth Apprenticeships / Internships
Are you interested in applying for one of our apprenticeships? You can read more about how you can join our team below or contact our one of our Lead Greenhouse Growers. Alaska Seeds of Change offers two types of apprenticeship programs to youth.
Paid Apprenticeships Through Community Partners
Youth enrolled in job training programs with Nine Star, McLaughlin Youth Center, and Cook Inlet Tribal Council can apply to have their work-site experience at Alaska Seeds of Change.
Earn School Credit
Youth may be able to earn school credit through a volunteer apprenticeship at Alaska Seeds of Change. We partner with King Tech High School, SAVE High School, and the ASD Gifted Mentorship Program.
Extra Benefits for Seeds Apprentices/Staff
Youth receive on-the-job training, as well as auxiliary training in other important areas, including: housing, higher education, future planning, money management, and much more!
LONG TERM SUPPORT
Youth are encouraged to keep coming to Alaska Seeds of Change after their apprenticeship or employment ends, to continue receiving support or to share their experiences and mentor others in the program.
Program staff are knowledgeable about local resources and can assist youth in getting connected with financial, educational, employment, parenting, and housing supports, among others.
Youth have the option to enroll in mental health services at Alaska Behavioral Health, through which they can receive formal case management, skill development, and clinical therapy.
COMMUNITY: We strive to create a safe, collaborative space for positive growth, embracing diverse experiences, backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. We contribute to our local community through social service, economic growth, and fresh food.
SUSTAINABILITY: We teach youth life skills and provide long-term support to foster stable growth toward independence. We rely on the combined efforts of youth and adults to develop a sustainable social enterprise business, ensuring that our community will grow strong and vibrant for generations to come.
CARING: We encourage youth to actively explore their values and goals, and to pursue them with enthusiasm, caring, and commitment. We recognize our responsibility to care for ourselves and for others.
BALANCE: We prioritize balance between different aspects of life, including: Innovation and Tradition, Work and Play, Purpose and Profit
Meet Our Staff
Cole Murphy finds great fulfillment working with plants and people together! Cole has enjoyed over four years working at Alaska Seeds of Change - where he started as a youth intern and today serves as program manager. Cole grew up in Anchorage, went to East and UAA, and now lives in West Anchorage with his wife Katya and two cats Joey and Phoebe. Since joining the Seeds team, Cole has gotten a graduate certificate, designed a few board games, and learned to juggle .
Sara Renard-Woods is the Assistant Manager at Alaska Seeds of Change and has been on the Seeds team for over 5 years. She began as a youth volunteer and quickly advanced through various roles, including youth staff member and supervisor. Sara is passionate about promoting a healthy, balanced lifestyle and promoting food security in Alaska. Sara is a volunteer board member of the Alaska Food Policy Council, another avenue for connecting youth and the joys and importance of growing food. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family of six
Hi, I am Rebecca Knapp. I started out as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in 2019 and was hired on as one of our Lead Greenhouse Growers in the summer of 2020. My favorite part of working here is knowing one's personal and professional growth was in part because of my mentorship. When I am not working, I enjoy outdoor activities like biking and hiking, as well as cooking, drinking tea around the fireplace, and researching my next travel destination
Sarah started as the Program Supervisor and Apprentice Coordinator in the summer of 2023. Sarah was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She attended Westmont College in California and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology. She discovered Seeds through volunteering in 2021 and 2022. Her favorite part of working at Seeds is mentoring young people. She is passionate about working towards holistic wellness for her community and engaging in art, the outdoors, baking, reading, and having fun in all aspects of life!
Gretchyn O’Donnell has been a Program Supervisor for Alaska Seeds of Change since September 2020. She has been the Apprentice Coordinator here for about two years. Gretchyn was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, where she attended East High School. For college, she went to the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau, Alaska, where she met the love of her life. Gretchyn is Bolivian American and deeply cares for her family history. She is passionate about recovery, reading and writing poetry, and being part of the LQBTQIA+ community. Her favorite part about working at Alaska Seeds of Change is getting to see the emotional and professional growth of the transition age youth throughout the program. One fun fact about Gretchyn: her lifetime favorite band is Death Cab for Cutie.
Anangookwe is a program supervisor & Seeds Outside coordinator at Alaska Seeds of Change. They take great joy in working with Alaskan youth in the garden, sharing wild foods knowledge, & watching Seeds of Change youth grow like bean sprouts! In their off-time, Anangookwe is huddled in their workroom where they sew, write poetry, and play the piano.