Summer of Opportunity Program (SOOP)
The Summer of Opportunity Program (SOOP) is a summer employment placement and training program designed to connect high school youth with local employment opportunities and expose participants to the basic skills necessary for career success.
For the past several years, we have been fortunate to have groups of 5-10 SOOP interns working with us in the E.D.E.N. Gardens for 6 weeks out of the summer! Over the course of these 6 weeks, participants complete projects, meet with local leaders, and build life skills such as budgeting, cooking, gardening, and public speaking.
Past SOOP projects include watering and maintaining the community gardens, harvesting, weighing, and preparing produce to be distributed at our Food Shelf, and building outdoor compost bins. SOOP interns gain valuable work experience, networking opportunities, and engagement with urban agriculture while also helping SMSJ with the labor that goes into the harvest season at the E.D.E.N. Gardens.
SMSJ Service Learning
The SMSJ Service Learning internship is a year-round position that provides an employment opportunity for a neighborhood teen. This program began in 2020 and consists of part-time work within the church and it's gardens for the individual involved.
The SMSJ Service Learning internship is an opportunity for the church to connect more deeply with neighborhood families, to have some good work done around the church, and to help a young person build their resume.
Interns work a few hours after school during the school year and fifteen hours a week during the summer months. The gifts and insights they bring to our staff team and our SMSJ community are invaluable.
Rochester Youth Year
Rochester Youth Year engages and empowers local graduates to strengthen the capacity of community organizations in an effort to alleviate the effects of poverty for Rochester youth and families. As a third-year participant in the Rochester Youth Year program, St. Mark's and St. John's is focusing on increasing organizational capacity as we grow the E.D.E.N. Community with the goal to be better positioned to support and serve our underserved neighbors.
Rochester Urban Fellow
Rochester Urban Fellows is a 10-week summer program that engages local undergraduates in 300-hour fellowships with community organizations, faculty and community-led urban issue dialogues, and community events. Students serve with local community organizations for approximately 30 hours per week to create, expand, or support a number of different initiatives. Our most recent Urban Fellow created and implemented a variety of internal systems and processes around volunteers and donor engagement while also assisting the Rochester Youth Year fellow in program development for the E.D.E.N. Community Center.