The Sunrise Project, a non profit organization of the Lawrence community, allows people of all ages to connect with food engagement and the environment. A growing amount of students became involved with Sunrise this year to create social change and learn leadership skills.
“The Sunrise Project entails working a lot with kids, so it has definitely improved my people skills and teaching abilities,” said senior volunteer Satori Good, “ I think it’s a lot of fun to give back to the community and promote everything I stand for, a healthy environment and social justice.”
The purpose of the Sunrise Project is to learn and spread the importance of naturally grown food and leadership skills among the community. The Project has several programs for various ages, Sunrise Youth engages people from 12 to 18 in activist projects among the community throughout the year.
“Sunrise Project is truly community-led, which means we do not decide for youth or anyone else what the programming will look like,” co-founder Emily Hampton said, “We’re here to listen to youth about what they need and how they’d like to participate.”
Co-founders Emily Hampton and Melissa Freiburger created the Sunrise Project in 2014 and gained nonprofit status in January of 2015.
Sunrise informs of local policy and design projects based off an equity approach. Sunrise invites people of all backgrounds in sharing their experience with food and spreading local policy.
“It’s important for youth to get involved as early as they can, because that’s how we get project outlook online,” senior volunteer Ainsley Agnew said, “Being able to work with adults and youth among the community is really important.”
Sunrise holds events and workshops, while also maintaining the Lawrence Worm Farm as well as the Sunrise Community Garden. The Lawrence Worm Farm uses worms to compost, which is also known as vermicomposting. Maintained by volunteers, the entire Sunrise Community Garden is open to the public for free.
The Sunrise Coffee Shop is now open and serves to spread awareness of the principles of the Sunrise Project. The Sunrise Social will be February 3, with live music, crafts, food, and other events as a way to inform the community of the programs at Sunrise.
“Students who have participated in our summer camps have also had a great time learning about different social issues in our community and making new friends,” Hampton said. “Our hope is for students to make new social connections and also learn ways to make a difference in our world.”