I have had the opportunity of knowing Shawn Henry (founder of Garden Angels) through my work at Youth Venture. Youth Venture is a national non-profit organization that engages young people (Youth Ventures) to think about as well as address the problems in their communities. We provide our Youth Ventures with the tools necessary to create civic-minded organizations, clubs, or businesses. Youth Venture is a resource for young people like Shawn when they have project ideas that they want to launch. We provide our young people with the support needed to start them on their way.
Shawn launched his organization, Garden Angels, in December 2002 with a $1000 grant from Youth Venture. The Garden Angels has expanded to a following 50 core members and almost 200 young supporters in his Brooklyn neighborhood. It all started when Shawn had the idea of transforming an empty lot into a beautiful community garden. Shawn and the Garden Angels have since continued to pursue more community projects focused on engaging young people, such as tutoring, peer mentoring, poetry slams and chess tournaments.
Youth Venture supports young people throughout the beginning stages of their ventures because we believe strongly in the fact that young people are capable of being leaders in the community.
This past September, Shawn Henry was a recipient of $2000 for the Gloria Barrron Prize for Young Heroes in September 2004. He exemplifies this success as he manages to balance college life, work and being the leader of the Garden Angels. Shawn is a member of the Youth Advisory Council at Youth Venture and helps organize professional events for other young people to attend in the New York City area.
Shawn Henry’s continual involvement in the movement of young people who are making change in the world today is impressive and he deserves recognition because of the inspiration that he has brought to so many young minds in his community.