Mission Thrive Summer is a five-week summer job for Baltimore City high school students who are interested in staying active, engaged and healthy while working outside on an urban farm. Mission Thrive Summer is open to students who have completed 9th, 10th, or 11th grade. Crew members will be farming, cooking, practicing mindfulness techniques, and developing their leadership and job skills.

IMPORTANT: You must register for YouthWorks in order to participate in this program. Contact us with any questions at (443) 531-8346 or rffeducation@civicworks.com.

The 2019 YouthWorks Application Closed March 1, 2019

If you were accepted into YouthWorks, please fill out the application for Mission Thrive Summer 2019.

Mission Thrive Summer is a program of Civic Works’ Real Food Farm and The Institute For Integrative Health.

What will I do?

Participants will have the opportunity to engage with four core components:


Growing vegetables and flowers sustainably at Real Food Farm and learning practical gardening skills through workshops and training.

Cooking and Healthy Eating

Learning basic nutrition concepts and how to prepare healthy meals while making lunch for all the crews each day during hands-on sessions in the kitchen.

Check out our cookbooks!

2013 – Healthy Food to Ease Your Mind Recipe Book

2014 – Healthy Food For The Healthy Body

2015 – Mission Thrive Summer Recipe Book

Mindfulness and Physical Activity

Practicing yoga and simple physical activities to stay centered and fit.

Leadership development

Every week, participants will work towards developing strong leadership and communication skills through team building activities, self and group evaluations, and workshops emphasizing job readiness. At the end of the summer, we’ll be hosting a community health fair to share what we’ve learned with our family, friends, and neighbors.

And, once a week, crew members engage with the local food system and environment through day-long fields trips to local commercial kitchens, sustainable food businesses, other local farms, and natural places.

What is expected of me?

  • Be committed to our core values – Accountability, Teamwork, Healthy Choices, and Try It On (Trying New Things)
  • Arrive on time!!
  • Come with an open mind and be prepared to participate and contribute in all activities
  • Uphold the Mission Thrive Community Contract
  • Wear appropriate clothes and shoes to work outside on the farm and in the kitchen
  • Complete program evaluation forms at the start of the program, end of the program, and two months after the program
  • Commit to entire 5-week program

When is Mission Thrive Summer?

A mandatory parent and teen orientation for Mission Thrive Summer during the week of June 24, 2019 – exact date to be announced.

The program runs Monday-Friday from July 1, 2019 to August 2, 2019 from 8 am to 2 pm.

What do I earn?

In addition to an amazing opportunity to meet new friends, have fun, and learn new skills this summer, you will also earn a paycheck!  Once you are registered for the City of Baltimore’s summer YouthWorks job program, you can be paid to participate in Mission Thrive Summer!  You’ll work 25 hours per week for five weeks and could earn up to $200 per week, depending on your attendance and participation. Note: your first paycheck will arrive at the end of Week 4.

Where is Mission Thrive Summer?

Mission Thrive Summer is located at Real Food Farm (at the Historic Lake Clifton High School) at 2801 St. Lo Drive, Baltimore, MD 21213.  Map and Directions

How do I apply?

  1. Follow the link to the online application below and apply by March 1, 2019!
    • Mission Thrive Summer 2019 application for Crew Members
    • Mission Thrive Summer 2019 application for Peer Leaders (returning crew member)
  2. Complete your YouthWorks registration online (open January 2 – March 1) and attend your in-person certification appointment. This is how you are paid for the summer and is a requirement.
  3. Expect a phone call from a Mission Thrive staff member to let you know we received your application and to sign you up for an interview during the week of March 25th. Interviews will help you get a sense of the type of work you’d be doing and let us get to know you better before making a final selection for our positions. Wear clothes you feel comfortable working outside in – it might be cold and wet on our interview days.

Hear more from Mission Thrive Summer alumni!

They teach you how to really cook, beyond what you might know at your house. And, this summer made me think about why we don’t have more farms around the city or more stores to sell fresh food from the farms.
Marquel, Freshman
This summer at Mission Thrive was all about being open to new ideas. To be a leader, you have to try out new things like cooking or working through a new recipe as a group. Every day there was something to look forward to, like the morning games we played, yoga, or fitness. I liked the competitive games we played in fitness – that helped us to work in teams and feel like we were part of a group. Now, I like to go running in my neighborhood.
Joey, Sophomore
I would tell others that Mission Thrive Summer is a lot of work, but also fun. I liked the talks we had just among the girls, the field trips, and even the experience of working outside. I learned safety in the kitchen…I also learned about nutrition, like how oil from chips can clog your arteries.  I eat less snacks and candy now.
Diamond, Freshman
I learned a lot of new things about different foods.  Actually, farming was fun!  I thought farming would be the worst thing I’ve ever done in my life and it was actually fun. You learn a wide variety of things.  Like, not just about the program, but about yourself, too.
Janea, Freshman


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