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Guest Blog: MYOI and Traverse City Community Composting

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Editor’s note: The awesome MYOI crew joined us again for some compost making and bucket slinging last week. Here’s a highlight of our day from MYOI Coordinator, Tim Bottrell.

MYOI is a state run program that works with current and former foster youth ages 14-23. As coordinator of MYOI (Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative) in Grand Traverse/Kalkaska/Leelanau Counties, it is my job to find educational experiences in our community that focus on transportation, finances, health, education, housing, employment.

Another big part of what we do is getting involved in our community and giving back to the community who supports us.

One of my favorite annual events is our visit to Carter’s Compost to help Carter, his dad Ty, and little brother Jamo. It’s the one day a year that our youth are able to take part in an event that hits on every single aspect of what MYOI is about.

  • We focus on health and affordable transportation by hitting the town on bicycles to get some exercise, smile, and practice safe biking.
  • We gain valuable work experience by picking up buckets of kitchen scraps from customers, rotating the piles at Oryana’s Neighborhood Compost Station, and screening worm castings from Grand Traverse County‘s Vermitech that’s housed at C’sC World HQ.
  • We also learn about creating your own job by hearing the simple story of an elementary kid who started his own business with the help of his family.
  • Learning that most of Carter’s earnings go to his college savings relates to our program focus of saving and pursuing education. Not to mention the lesson of turning old food into new food through composting and gardening.

Perhaps the biggest take away from our day with Carter’s Compost is how everything ties into community. They see that Carter’s Compost can’t exist without community, and that Carter’s Compost builds community. Our youth see that they are an important part of this community, and they are able to give back to their community.

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