By: Victoria Schnaufer

When I was in high school, I knew that I was called to spend time dedicated to service. I felt very drawn to the AmeriCorps process, because it would give me a way to plug-in to the community that I call my own. I landed in Nashville after graduating from Sewanee with a Bachelor’s of Science in Natural Resources and spending time as a wildland firefighter and working with protection dogs. This (2018-2019) is the first year that Plant the Seed is hosting AmeriCorps members, and I feel blessed to be one of a two-person cohort to serve alongside an incredible team in an organization with a great mission: “to inspire and empower young people through garden-based learning.”

Plant the Seed is in six Metro Nashville Public Schools, multiple library sites and is building its seventh school garden as I type. The most incredible aspect of my position is that throughout the week I get to assist in facilitation at three different sites, in three very different Nashville neighborhoods, serving with students from four to seven-years-old. It is incredible to witness the wonder and excitement on a young person’s face when he or she feels a downy leaf, or a grasshopper hops onto someone’s head! 

I could not think of a better placement to be plugged into my community for a year of service. Plant the Seed has me serving a diverse network, serving in a field that I have a background in and continuously learning about things I am passionate about. I look forward to what the rest of my service year with AmeriCorps and Plant the Seed may bring!