Our Vigorous Youth mission is to support MFFC's mission and vision through food access programming, bike education and advocacy, and professional and personal development workshops.
Mattapan on Wheels
Founded in 2011 by our Vigorous Youth, Mattapan on Wheels is a free, youth-led day of biking that draws neighbors and residents from all over Boston, especially those of colour. The annual event is committed to developing youth leadership through increasing bike access, safety, and visibility of the biking community in Mattapan. Free bike rentals + helmets make it easy for families to discover the joy of biking together. A choice of three routes helps to accommodate people of all ages and comfort levels.
Most importantly, youth are given an active role in planning + decision making, boosting pride in their neighborhood and shining a positive light on the community. In 2019 the youth debuted the first ever basic bike repair workshops.
Basic Bike Repair Workshops
Biking is a perfect physical activity option, a great use of alternative transportation, and just something to do for fun with family. However, there are barriers that hold individuals back from biking which includes not knowing where to bike, having a "broken" bike, and safe riding. The youth-led 5-week series teaches local residents how to perform basic bike repair so they can continue their joy of bike riding.
Along with bike repair, the series covers topics such as street riding, healthy eating, bike safety, what to wear, the anatomy of a bike, ABC Check, and much more. These workshops are geared towards those who want to know the basics when riding and maintaining their bike. In addition to leading the workshops, The Vigorous Youth researched material and created the information taught.
Farm Stand + Gardening
Located in front of the Mattapan Community Health Center, the farm stand is run entirely by the youth. The youth work on their marketing, selling, customer service, cash recording, and product display skills, all while promoting healthy eating. Produce is donated by Brookwood Community Farm in Canton.
Our youth help maintain the Kennedy Playground Children's Garden by planting seedlings and cleaning out the plot as necessary. Activities are held with families to engage young children + allow them to use their five senses when exploring the garden. The Vigorous Youth also helped establish the Woolson Street Community Garden in response to the violence that took place on Woolson Street in 2010.
Our Vigorous Youth are not only interested in food and fitness. Sometimes they take on issues that are important to them
Research Project with Northeastern University. The Vigorous Youth are working with a research team at NEU to gather data on how green and blue spaces affects the emotional well-being of youth ages 14-17. The research project will be complete in August 2020.