Sedrick Burton is a former JVTF Woodlawn High School Apprentice with previous farm experience and stellar customer service skills as well who returned to JVTF in January 2020 as a Graduate Apprentice. Sedrick has a deep passion for learning and will be attending college to pursue a degree in Plant Medicine. His personality lights up the farm and inspires others daily.
When I was first introduced to Jones Valley Teaching Farm, I was a junior in high school who had just moved from my home state of Florida. I didn’t think I would be able to find something similar to the Garden Club I was the President of, but I was wildly mistaken. My history teacher introduced me to Scotty [Feltman, former Woodlawn High School teacher and JVTF instructor] who sent me a link so I could apply for the High School Apprenticeship position. I had a passion for the environment—not farming per se—but over time I eventually found that this was a natural element for all humans. It didn’t take much time for me to adjust to the heat and the back-breaking work thanks to football conditioning over the years. My main goal with JVTF was to get a job that was similar to my interests and my career goals, and it’s exceeded that. “I got my stride and learned to dance with the hoe” like Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm says.
“My main goal with JVTF was to get a job that was similar to my interests and my career goals, and it’s exceeded that. “I got my stride and learned to dance with the hoe” like Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm says.“
Being a Graduate Apprentice has now taken me a few steps higher within the organization. More is expected of me, and it’s molding my future as a young adult. I work with Instructors who are very helpful and understand the value that the apprentice title holds. Shundria Mack is my direct instructor, and she helps me with drafting lessons as the school year approaches. (Although with Covid-19 changing the way the world operates, even if we don’t have in person instruction, we will always have virtual tools.) In the spring, it was very fun shadowing my Instructor on a few lessons and getting the feel for what it’ll be like when I’m really in a “teacher’s shoes.” I’m glad to have someone that I can go to when I have questions and need reassurance regarding farm or computer work.
When my JVTF journey comes to an end, I want them to know that they did all they could and more to mold my future. At the end of the day, it’s up to me whether I’ll use the tools, skills and opportunities that I have been and will be provided with by JVTF for good use. This Apprenticeship is helping me get my ducks in a row. With a direct supervisor who is supportive, an instructor, and Farmily, I’ve had an ample amount of support in figuring out my life after this. School is in my view right now and with the help of JVTF, I’ll hopefully be starting soon. I’m grateful for the opportunity and the learning experience.