REM Award Honorees (2014) — David Perry (Alfond Youth Center)

Mr. Dave Perry is an inspiration and Master Gardener at the Alfond Youth Center (AYC). Dave came to volunteer his countless hours in the organic gardening project of the Boys & Girls Club After School Program at the AYC, through the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Dave took over the leadership and mentored 100 youth in organic, raised-bed gardening of produce for the table.

As part of his efforts, Dave also mentored the youth in composting and preparing the garden beds for winter. Following his aspirations for helping youth have a future with growing fresh, organic foods, we are expanding our gardens by 50%, adding a high tunnel to extend our growing season well into the fall, and teaching the kids how to start and operate their own After School/Summer Enrichment Program vegetable stand.

Dave Perry is an inspiration to our youth, families, and staff. His blindness has not prevented him in his endeavors. He has not only brought leadership to an organic gardening project, but he has shown us all that we can overcome barriers.

For more information about the Alfond Youth Center, please visit its website.

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