Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Zoe Oxley




community, roots, schenectady, wisdom, program


The project researches and evaluates the effects of Roots & Wisdom, a local youth agriculture and community service program that brings together Schenectady County youth and committed adults to grow organic vegetables for donation to local food pantries and for sale within the county. The program teaches its participants about sustainable agriculture, hunger, nutrition, and diversity. This project evaluates the effectiveness of these efforts into three ways: through an evaluation of the program by its participants, by members of the Schenectady community and by members of the Union College community. The participants of Roots & Wisdom’s programs have been evaluated through a survey that measures the degree to which their participation in the program has benefited and permanently changed their ethical, political and social views and actions. Both members of the Schenectady and Union College communities participated in interviews which evaluated how well-known Roots & Wisdom is in both communities, how they are perceived, what interviewees see as the strengths and weaknesses of their programs and what efforts they might pursue to make a bigger impact in the future. The results of this study indicate that Roots & Wisdom has been very successful in its goal of living up to its mission statement as it relates to educating the community. The study also indicates that while Roots & Wisdom has been very successful in reaching its target audience in the Schenectady community, it needs to increase contacts with the Union College community. The study also showed that increased financial support is necessary for Roots & Wisdom to continue their successful efforts to better the Schenectady community.