Chen and her team of more than 200 volunteers provide container gardening workshops to students at approximately 50 elementary and middle schools throughout the state.
By Mona De Crinis
March 2, 2021
Megan Chen, a 17-year-old Newark resident, has been honored for making a positive difference in her community through The Urban Garden Initiative.
A Delaware teenager with a green thumb and a golden touch has been named a 2020 honoree by the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. Newark’s Megan Chen, 17, is one of 25 young leaders recognized for making a positive difference in her community and beyond.
Chen was awarded the prestigious honor after founding The Urban Garden Initiative (TUGI), a nonprofit empowering our youth to grow and learn more about fresh produce and the benefits of a healthy, sustainable environment. A longtime grower of container vegetables herself, Chen gardens year-round to provide greens and veggies for her family.
Although her family moved around a lot when Chen was young, she found a way to explore the principles of gardening using containers when her living space didn’t afford the room needed for a conventional garden.
“Even if the plants didn’t turn out perfectly, learning about how food is grown was super interesting to me,” she says. “Over the years, I started diving more into different issues, discovering more about issues at a local level, like food insecurity in my community.”
Being exposed to her parents’ strong work ethic after immigrating to the U.S. with essentially nothing helped ignited Chen’s drive to follow her heart.
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