Closer to Earth (CTE) is a non-profit youth group empowering teenagers in Oklahoma City, and surrounding areas, through personal mentorship, organic gardening, and environmental and food justice advocacy.
We mentor a diverse group of youth including youth serving court. required or school required community service hours, as well as offer youth the opportunity to gain job and leadership experience through stipend internships.
CTE primarily works with youth who are referred to us by the city and county juvenile court systems and Oklahoma City schools. While youth serve community service hours they build relationships with CTE staff. volunteers and other youth. At the end of their community service most youth are offered the opportunity to continue to work with CTE as an intern. Youth who choose internships are personally mentored, trained in leadership and gardening and also help serve as a positive influence for other youth entering the program:
“I think gardening is a positive influence in my life because it helps me stay out of trouble. I mean if I weren’t here doing this, I don’t know where I would be right now”-CTE Youth Intern
Closer to Earth directly impacts youth who are serving community service by providing a positive work experience. Youth who serve community service hours are taking part in a community project that is positively effecting their life, the local environment and their community.