Last Friday, the first seven out of 15 students ages 18-24 received honors and certifications as Hydroponic Agricultural Technicians from the Maxine Mimms Academies’ Indoor Hydroponic Urban Farming Initiative. This initiative is the latest program created by the Maxine Mimms Academies (MMA), which was originally founded to support suspended and expelled students, and which has had a long history of supporting the education of vulnerable and displaced youth.
“Maxine Mimms Academies’ new indoor hydroponic agricultural program is the first of its kind that educates, trains, and is job creation focused,” says Isa Nichols, CEO and Executive Director of the Maxine Mimms Academies. “It is a true collaboration of Pierce County Agency’s working of our resources to serve youth and young adults.”
Recently, MMA has joined forces with Seattle’s Central Area Urban Garden (CAUG) Demonstration Project to house the MMA’s Indoor Hydroponic Urban Farming Initiative’s Garden of Eden (114 21st Ave, Seattle, WA 98118), which was founded by Michael Twiggs, MMA’s Chief Operating Officer and Technology Director. At the garden, located at 114 21st Ave. in Seattle, the students learn how to grow produce herbs and produce such as lettuce, basil, tomatoes, strawberries, and more using the MMA’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) curriculum which promotes environmentally sound principles through Hydroponic Farming. Produce harvested from MMA’s Indoor Hydroponic Urban Farming Initiative will go to feed the students in the program, families and seniors in the community, and local food banks.
Austin Burton, Shiquan Cook, Jordon Cox, Michael Farve, Avery Greer, Taylor Porter, and Montek Smith are the seven of the original 15 students who participated in the 10 week program and completed 165 hours of indoor hydroponic education and training, food handling and hygiene course work, as well as employment skills development and case management learning to receive their certification.
MMA is named after Dr. Maxine Mimms, who is the Founder of the Tacoma Evergreen State College, and the Maxine Mimms Academies. Dr. Mimms is a highly recognized education consultant that has provided leadership and guidance to both public and private schools – including the Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership academy for Girls in South Africa and the Cicely Tyson’s School of Performing and Fine Arts in East Orange, New Jersey.