JOIN youth in food systems!

Youth in Food Systems welcomes you! Our goal is to provide opportunities for high school aged youth, aged 14-19, to explore environmental topics related to food and sustainability, gain transferable skills, and explore career options in the agriculture and food sector.

By allowing youth to follow their own interests with staff support, we aim to foster inquiry, research, critical thinking, and communication skills.

Youth project work takes place on Circle, an online platform for collaboration. 

We’re always looking for young people across Ontario to join our team! Read through the descriptions available below and fill out the form located at the bottom of the page to sign up!

YEAR-ROUND OPPORTUNITIES

Please note that the availability of roles changes regularly. Please feel free to sign up for the role(s) that most interest you and we’ll be in touch to discuss what’s available.

THE YOUTH BLOG

Writer

Do you have a way with words, or just an interest in writing? We have an opportunity for you to write about food- and sustainability-related topics for the blog! It’s written for young people, by young people, to educate and inspire your peers. 

What you’ll gain:

  • Research skills
  • Written communication skills and abilities
  • Collaboration skills within the blog team
  • Confidence in yourself and your abilities
  • A chance to have your work published on a professional webpage 

Time commitment: 3 month minimum, 1+ blog posts / month on a flexible schedule

Graphic Designer

The aesthetic of the blog is important for capturing readers’ attention. Part of this is having a featured image for each and every blog post created. If you have a creative eye and like to create visually appealing and enticing graphics, this role could be the perfect fit for you! 

What you’ll gain:

  • Graphic design skills, using Canva
  • Collaboration skills within the blog team
  • Confidence in yourself and your abilities
  • A chance to have your work published on a professional webpage

Time commitment: 3 month minimum, 1+ blog posts / month on a flexible schedule

 

Editor

The essence of the blog lies in having high quality content, and that shouldn’t fall solely on the blog writers. Our editors are responsible for reviewing each post and providing suggestions and feedback before the posts get published. 

What you’ll gain:

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Written communication skills and abilities
  • Collaboration skills within the blog team
  • Confidence in yourself and your abilities
  • A chance to have your efforts recognized on a professional webpage

Time commitment: 3 month minimum, 1+ blog posts / month on a fixed, self-selected schedule

Publisher

The final piece of the blog process is getting the written, edited, designed posts onto the blog where they can be read and enjoyed by our audience. If you have a great eye for detail and layout, and have strong computer skills or an interest in building such skills, consider joining the team! 

What you’ll gain:

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Web development experience using WordPress
  • Collaboration skills within the blog team
  • Confidence in yourself and your abilities
  • A chance to have your efforts recognized on a professional webpage

Time commitment: 3 month minimum, 2+ blog posts /month on a fixed, self-selected schedule

FOOD LEADER INTERVIEW SERIES

 

Interviewer

We are embarking on Season 4 of the Food Leader Interview Series this year and are looking for Interviewers to lead the project! Our youth Interviewers conduct virtual video interviews with professionals working in Canadian food systems. Since 2021, our Interviewers have carried out 25 vinterviews, spotlighting 25 unique and important careers in Canadian food systems. Are you ready to join the next cohort of leaders? 

What you’ll gain: 

  • Research and critical thinking skills
  • Communication skills and abilities with teammates, staff, and food leaders
  • Leadership development and confidence building 
  • One-on-one and group training in professionalism, communications, interviewing, and more
  • An opportunity to build and contribute to knowledge sharing about agri-food careers 

Time commitment: Approximately 15-20 hours total commitment over the course of four months. Mandatory training sessions will take place weekly during May and June.

 

 

Video Editor

 

What happens after our Interviewers carry out their interviews? They are reviewed, edited down as needed, spiced up with captions, music, and an intro and outro, and scheduled to be published! We are looking for youth with experience or an interest in video editing to join Season 3 of our Food Leader Interview Series

What you’ll gain: 

    • Critical thinking skills
    • Communication skills and abilities with teammates and staff
    • Leadership development and confidence building 
    • One-on-one and group training in video editing
    • Time management skills 
    • Video editing skills

    Time commitment: 10-15 hours total commitment over the course of two months.

 

Graphic Designer

 

Accompanying each video and audio interview is an infographic career profile, to accommodate those who prefer to read over watch/listen. So, we are looking for youth to carry out this transformation, converting what was said into easy-to-read, visually appealing highlights of each career for Season 3 of our Food Leader Interview Series

What you’ll gain: 

  • Graphic design skills, using Canva
  • Collaboration skills within the interview series team
  • A chance to have your work published on a professional webpage
  • One-on-one and group training in graphic design
  • Time management skills 

Time commitment: 10-15 hours total commitment over the course of two months.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT CREATION

 

 

Our social media is one of our primary communication platforms, and we’re looking for youth interested in helping us to grow it with fun, relevant, and informational content! You will be able to assist with our social media pages by conducting research and creating posts. 

 

Content Creator - General Assistance

Create individual posts related to food and sustainability, for all of our social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)! 

What you’ll gain:

  • Research and communication skills
  • Graphic design skills, using Canva
  • Teamwork and deliverables skills
  • Creativity and critical thinking skills as you consider how messages are conveyed to an audience
  • A chance to have your work published on a professional webpage

Time commitment: 3 month minimum, 2+ post designs / month on a self-selected schedule

Content Creator - Instagram Takeovers

Take over our Instagram page for a weekend (or multiple weekends)! Research, design, and execute a series of posts focused on a food systems or sustainability topic of your choosing.

What you’ll gain:

  • Research and communication skills
  • Graphic design skills, using Canva
  • Teamwork and deliverables skills
  • Creativity and critical thinking skills as you consider how messages are conveyed to an audience
  • A chance to have your work published on a professional webpage

Time commitment: 1+ weekend, 5 – 7 posts per weekend on a fixed schedule

FOOD SYSTEMS LEARNING MODULES

 

 

Our learning modules are a newer project that give our youth another platform through which to communicate about food systems in a fun peer-to-peer format! We’re looking for youth interested in helping us to grow these modules, and make them publicly available, through researching, writing, and designing relevant and informational content into bite-sized pieces on EdApp

 

Module Creator

Conceptualize, research, write, design, and/or publish modules. You’ll have a chance to select which aspects of the module creation you want to be involved with!

What you’ll gain:

  • Research and communication skills
  • Graphic design skills
  • Teamwork and deliverables skills
  • Creativity and critical thinking skills as you consider how messages are conveyed to an audience
  • A chance to have your work published on a public platform

Time commitment: 3 month minimum, 1-5 hours/week on a self-selected schedule with some collab times. 

SEASONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Please note that the availability of roles changes regularly. Please feel free to sign up for the role(s) that most interest you and we’ll be in touch to discuss what’s available.

YOUTH FOOD MARKET

Market Leader


Each year, a group of high school students interested in gaining food systems, business, and leadership experience take on a variety of duties (our “Market Leaders”) in our 
Youth Food Market. This role is comprised of two main elements: behind the scenes planning (marketing, graphic design, outreach and coordination, partnership building) & Market day operations (set up, sales and customer service, merchandising and produce handling).

This year, we have had a wonderful group of youth leading the development of the 2024 Markets, and now we are looking for more youth to join for the main Market season! 

Time Commitment: 2-5 hours/week from April – September; flexible and self-directed

Please note: Market Leaders should be located in Waterloo Region and willing to take part in in-person activities.

 

Nurture Gardener

 

This opportunity is closed for the 2024 season.

In order for our Youth Food Market to thrive, we need produce to sell affordably at our pop-up stalls. About 80% of this produce comes from local farm partnerships and about 20% comes from food grown by youth teams in school gardens throughout Waterloo Region. Our partner, Nurture, is looking for youth interested in making this happen! 

Time commitment: July and August 2024, various hours each week.