“It’s funny how GG changes you. For me, it changed my creative and emotional self. I can get along with people a lot more. It changed the way I look at the world. It changed me emotionally- I’m a better person. I’ve been here long enough that I feel like when I’m here I’m at my second home.” – Angela, GG Alum
Angela joined Global Gardens in 3rd grade. It was her first year at a new school, and she brought a big personality—including big emotions—to the classroom. While she radiated a generous and good-natured spirit from the beginning, those big emotions often proved difficult to manage, causing regular outbursts during program time. In response, Garden Educator Ms. Jenni leaned into the peace education portion of our curriculum, which provides tools for learning self-awareness, managing feelings, and handling conflict with others in a peaceful way.
With support in these areas, Angela bloomed! She practiced skills like mindful breathing, which helped her stay calm while big emotions subsided. She learned to name her feelings, to recognize their influence on her behavior, and how to make amends with others, when needed. “By learning to manage her emotions,” recalls Ms. Jenni, “Angela was able to channel them into creativity and relationships. She’s naturally skilled at writing songs, creating art, and supporting others – and feeling deeply is definitely a strength for those pursuits. She began leading the way in “deep” conversations, sharing her insights on friendship, peace, forgiveness, and hope with the group. She also focused on making others feel loved and cared about, by doing such things as gently checking on a student who was upset, “appreciating” another Global Gardener simply for being himself, or making gifts for each group member during celebrations.”
Angela graduated from the 5th grade—and from Global Gardens—in 2020. We are grateful to her for inventing Radish Chips (a perennial student favorite!), for confidently speaking about her love of cooking on GG tours, and for sharing the beauty of her own themed garden, Sunset Ocean, with us. She chose this theme, she explained, because “sunset at the ocean is the most peaceful place you can be. And because even though emotions can crash and go crazy like the ocean, you can always get back to that peaceful feeling of the ocean at sunset.”
We’re excited to see what Angela’s future holds – right now, her career interests are being a Global Gardens teacher, or a veterinarian!