Three graduates from Chicago Botanic Garden’s Windy City Harvest program and Roots of Success class were featured in a New York Times article that focused on the transformation they underwent from being incarcerated to becoming skilled green-collar workers. Windy City Harvest provides students with sustainable horticulture and urban agriculture certificates, and several other vocational and educational programs. All students of the Windy City Harvest program complete Roots of Success as part of their environmental literacy and green-career training in this nine month long program. The program includes six months of classroom training and a three month paid internship.

The article praises the Windy City Harvest program for their impact on the community, with a reported an 88% retention rate for all participants. It has been running since 2009 and is accredited by the Illinois Community College Board.

Roots of Success is a critical component of Windy City Harvest’s training program, providing low-income men and women with the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to secure good green jobs and improve environmental quality.