“One spark can make such a big difference” – Becca Stevens
The Ensworth High School students and faculty welcomed Becca Stevens, Episcopal chaplain at St. Augustine’s on Vanderbilt University and founder of Magdalene and Thistle Farms. Magdalene is a residential program for women who have survived lives of violence, prostitution and addiction. Thistle Farms is their social enterprise.
In preparation for tomorrow’s Service Learning community day, Steven’s challenged the Ensworth students to take an active role in solving the problems that exist in our community and to create solutions to help people in need.
Steven’s, a huge proponent of Social Enterprise, sees the benefit of creating sustainable incomes for the women from the program, versus just giving them money to help them. Thistle Farms employs 32 Magdalene residents or graduates. While working at Thistle Farms, women learn skills in manufacturing, packaging, marketing and sales and administration. It is a supportive workplace where women acquire the skills they need to earn a living wage. Employees have the opportunity to put a percentage of their earnings in a matched savings account. Through Thistle Farms, the women of Magdalene gain much needed job skills, and learn responsibility and cooperation. (source.)
Tomorrow, students will be participating in the following:
9th grade is planting 135 trees around the back of the campus.
10th graders are visiting Head Start Centers around Nashville.
11th graders are visiting:
Williamson County Animal Control
Westwood Elementary in Fairview
Ensworth lower school
Fannie Battle Day Home
The Susan Gray School
Franktown Open Hearts
Nurses for Newborns
Feed the Children
12th grade work on their individual Service Learning projects.
To learn more about Magdalene or Thistle Farms click here.