VozFrontera, Southwest Folklife Alliance is partnering with UA Compost Cats and Startup Unidos to engage communities in research and innovative solutions to food waste management issues in Nogales, Arizona. The project, Waste Not: Borderlands Innovations in Food Waste Management, will help workforce development by engaging youth in research, building community awareness and engagement, and creating business innovation opportunities.
APPLICATION **extended** goo.gl/P1XxMM
Startup Unidos Youth at VozFrontera WASTE NOT: Borderlands Innovation in Food Waste Management is a 25-week one-of-a-kind program in Nogales, AZ offering a curated hands-on-experience to 10 local high school students.
Managed by three partners: Southwest Folklife Alliance (SFA) an affiliate of University of Arizona, Startup Unidos (SUU) and the University of Arizona Compost Cats.
The project grows out of prior work in Nogales by all three organizations. In 2018, SFA launched VozFrontera, a center for youth engagement, leadership, and local arts incubation in Nogales. Startup Unidos Youth launched a pilot program through VozFrontera, offering a certified training in economic development and entrepreneurship to five Nogales youth.
The program kicks off APRIL 2019 offering a specialized project to engage Nogales youth in ethnographic documentation of local foodways to develop innovative business ideas around the community’s waste management systems.
Every year, 60 percent of all fresh produce in the United States (November-May) arrives through the port of entry in Nogales, AZ. Over 6000 tons of that produce, much of it still fresh, ends up in the Rio Rico landfill. That surplus could be turned into value-added food products or fertile compost for use in household or commercial ventures. The project aims to create educational and experiential opportunities for young people to create real solutions to issues of food surplus in the region by 1) engaging young people youth in ethnographic research, documenting narratives of cultural traditions around food waste, 2) creating business innovation opportunities, and 3) building greater community awareness of and engagement with the borderlands produce industry. It builds on strong partnerships and ethical practices of community engagement, foregrounding the importance of traditional knowledge to inform inventive solutions to pressing community needs.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, March 22, 2019 **Extended**
PROGRAM BEGINS: Saturday, April 13, 2019
PROGRAM ENDS: Saturday, October 19, 2019
ENROLLMENT: Fellowship offered for participation; supported by Agnes Haury Environment and Social Justice Program Seed Grant
SEEKING SPONSORS: Sponsor youth fellowship or a Startup Unidos/VozFrontera event / program. We’re looking for sponsors, which means offering your business name and some $$ to help make the program possible. A sponsorship kit can be emailed by request. Your small investment will go a long way!
Project Leader: Stephanie Bermudez, email@example.com
Stephanie is a gifted community builder, understanding the nuances of human behavior and how to encourage positive interactions. Her innovative ideas create cross-border communities and environments that expand on binational relationships to encourage collaboration and co-inspiration. Stephanie focuses on building up innovation spaces and networks; including events, training, consulting and research. She has a successful background developing co-working and maker spaces having previously developed Connect Coworking in Tucson, AZ and served as a board member and youth mentor at COSHARE: The National Shared Workspace Association.
Stephanie is passionate about taking her experiences and shaping binational business opportunities with Mexico and the United States. In April 2018, she was recognized and certified by Harvard University, University of Sonora and sonora:lab for her business project, Startup Unidos and for her contributions in Strengthening The Innovation Ecosystem In The State Of Sonora. Stephanie is actively working with startups across the Arizona-Sonora by implementing Startup Unidos ; most recently Startup Unidos Youth VozFrontera in Nogales, AZ, LatinX In Tech in Tucson, AZ and Emprende Amigo in Phoenix area.
In March 2019 she was recognized Minority Business Owner of the Year at Inside Tucson Business Women of Impact. In October 2018 she was recognized at Idea Funding for initial and future efforts to build the entrepreneurial community in Tucson and received the Larry Hecker and Sherry Hoskinson Bright Futures Award. In December 2016 she was recognized by Arizona Daily Star and Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as 40 under 40 Woman of the Year.