The Joeten Charitable Foundation, with support from Joeten Motors Co. and Joeten Ace Hardware, has generously donated $5,000 to the Young Farmers Club of San Vicente Elementary School.
Foundation president Frances T. Demapan, together with Joeten Ace Hardware president Priscilla Tenorio and Susupe store manager Doug Hanson, presented the check on Jan. 18, 2013, to Young Farmer's Club director and school librarian Richard Gramlich at San Vicente Elementary School.
Famous for being the first of its kind on island, the Young Farmers Club has grown and sold tomatoes, lettuce, corn, okra, cucumbers, watermelon, pumpkins, and peppers using hydroponics for the last five years. In the 2012 PSS Science Fair, YFC members earned two first-place and one second-place finishes respectively. Two years ago, two YFC students won a second-place finish for the Life Science Division and a first-place finish in Inventions/Technology at a Guam Science Fair Competition. Using proceeds from their fruit and potted plant sales, the Young Farmers Club was able to contribute a little over $3,000 to the Leroy Camacho Scholarship Fund, which is available to all San Vicente School alumni after high school graduation.
Due to the lack of government funding, planting and gardening activities halted at the end of last school year. “It was about in May of last year that we had to stop our operations because we could not afford to pay the staff and purchase the necessary supplies,” Gramlich said. “It was very exciting news when we heard the Joeten Charitable Foundation was going to donate to the YFC, especially since the weeds in the hydroponic garden have gotten a bit out of control.”
“The Young Farmers Club is a model organization in terms of what the Joeten Charitable Foundation looks to promote,” Demapan said. “Joeten Motors and Ace Hardware wanted to help support this donation because the YFC instills the spirit of entrepreneurship at an early age. These students researched the competition, did their own pricing, selling, and accounting. The hope is that eventually the YFC can sustain itself year after year.”
“In addition, it is much more than just a school garden; this program teaches children to take care of their health by eating healthy, and protecting their environment by learning how to compost, and promoting local organic food. They become more self-reliant by growing and consuming their own fruits and vegetables,” Demapan added. “In this sense, the YFC teaches them to be more confident of themselves, to perform better in school, and ultimately develops a healthier future for these children.” (PR)