Cultivate Hope Youth Development Program


The Youth Development Program is a paid opportunity to learn teamwork and practical skills while having a positive impact in our community.  Cultivate Hope is devoted to neighborhood development, education, and regenerative urban farming practices.  This program has two tracks: Seed Crew and Root Crew.


  • Seed Crew is an 8-week employment program where students spend 20 hours per week on farm work, food-related projects, farm events, team-building exercises, and working with our non-profit neighbors.  Hours are 8 am to 1 pm Monday through Thursday, starting on June 28 and ending on August 19.  Wages are $8.25 per hour.  


  • Root Crew is a 7-month leadership and training program for individuals who have completed one season of Seed Crew.  From March through October, this team meets twice weekly during the school year and helps lead the Seed Crew during their hours in the summer.  Root Crew is involved in every part of the growing process, from starting seeds in March to planting cover crops in October.  Wages are $9.00 per hour.  Please note that all 2021 Root Crew spots have been filled. 


We encourage any interested student to apply for our 2021 program.  Applicants must submit an application and a reference from a non-related adult.  Completed application and reference forms should be returned by April 30 to Matt McGrane via email to or mailed to Matt McGrane c/o Matthew 25, 201 Third Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.

Click here to download the application.

Click here to download the reference form.

In addition, feel free to contact us at Matthew 25 if you have any questions about our programs or about the application process by emailing Matt McGrane at or calling (319) 200-2785.  Thank you!

More Than a Summer Job

When you join Cultivate Hope Youth Development Program, you’ll be earning money, but you’ll gain more than that. This isn’t a typical high school summer job. You can expect to:

  • Improve your communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills
  • Work with staff who help you set and reach personal goals
  • Learn about the food system and food-related social justice issues
  • Gain new perspectives on community service, food justice, diversity, and more
  • Make new friends