Entrepreneurial youth are working on an intern-led business this summer season at the Questa Farmers Market (QFM) – the creative development of a coffee stand. The coffee stand provides work-based learning, mentorship, and skill development.
QFM, a program of the nonprofit Localogy, has been developing a youth internship program since 2019. The program employs teens ages 14 through 18. Youth interns bring their perspectives, hopes, questions, and vision, and are supported by mentors and learning experiences.
Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation (LANLF) awarded the QFM an Education Enrichment Grant, for a 2-year period, to support the youth internship aspect of the market’s mission. The goal during the 2022 and 2023 seasons is to connect youth to agricultural education opportunities, such as farm apprenticeships and entrepreneurial opportunities, including an intern-led farmers market business.
The marketplace supports small, local businesses to help regenerate the agricultural community in northern Taos County and foster skills and opportunity for a new generation, including youth entrepreneurs.
Returning intern Eliot Moody reflects on his experience this season. He’ll be an intern for six weeks. “This year I’ve learned that it’s important to use my voice and creativity to make the coffee stand more efficient. I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to work here; I’ve made lots of new friends and learned a lot. It’s been a fun summer and I hope I can do it again.” Eliot designed and painted the new signs for the coffee stand.
A new intern, Tulsi Shaw writes, “The coffee stand doesn’t just have coffee. It has mistakes, and learning from them. It has laughs and smiles. It has new friends and new experiences.”