The Wolfville Farmers Market has a wonderful story of community, giving small businesses an opportunity to set up shop and sell valley grown and produced fruits, vegetables, jams, sauces, and crafts, etc. each Saturday at 24 Elm St. With a slogan of “Where Local Abundance Nourishes and Community Thrives” they have taken this to another level and nourish the employment skills of local youth by partnering with The Edge Youth Program in Kentville. They have given these youth the opportunity to take the classroom setting information to be developed in a truly dynamic work environment. Matt, an Edge program participant, and new employee “I have been able to open back up as a person after the last few years and make some friendships and such will hold a special place for me. Just the overall experience, it feels more like a giant family then it does a staff, it’s quite an amazing feeling to walk into work and feel good every time you do.”
Kelly Marie, one of Matt’s supervisors, “Matt showed up with a very good attitude, work ethic and desire to learn. And that personality and strong ability to see the small tasks as they pertain to the Big Picture to create an invaluable employee who now impacts the Saturday markets by doing everything from set up, to vendor support to clean up as well as packing the truck and being the face of community deliveries every Wednesday”.
Matt credits The Edge program and its caring team, “I went through a long period working with Troy, Katie and Leta on different job related and income related goals as well as worked through some personal stuff with Tess. This time last year coming out of the lock downs I didn’t even know how to handle stuff, after the long journey I have finally come back to a point where I can be happy and feel fulfilled every day! I have the Edge program to thank for quite a bit of this”.
The Edge Program coordinator Leta Lowther’s, reached out to The Wolfville Farmers Market about partnering to host an individual. Kelly Marie stated, “it was the perfect opportunity for us to have a supported employee to help us as well as our desire to continue to give to the community by being apart of a young person’s journey”. She then spoke of Matt’s Attitude and Aptitude and how it contributed to his rapid learning curve and his versatility to work in the many areas that a not-for-profit business provides.
Matt would like to send this message to other potential employers to partner with the Edge program:
“I think it’s an opportunity you would enjoy, I’m sure it may seem like a risk, but I would promise these employers that you would be giving someone like me, that had not a shred of confidence, a chance to become a person they know they can be. You’re giving people a chance to break out of there shell and become functioning again.”Matt
“Where Local Abundance Nourishes and Community Thrives” has gone beyond the vision of giving businesses an opportunity to sell its whares, it’s always about people. Wolfville Farmer’s Market and Edge partnering to build individuals and give this young man the opportunity to positively impact all the paths he crosses in his daily activities.