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AntFarm hosts summer internships for teens

by: Two Foxes Singing From left to right, Brandon Tegan, Sage Fisher, Aja Millison and Jenna Gordon of AntFarm work together on a community garden. Gardening is one of the opportunities offered through the new internship program.

A nonprofit based out of Mount Hood and Sandy plans to offer local teens work opportunities this summer.

Between June 14 and Aug. 19, AntFarm, a youth development effort of Woape, will host four, six and 10-week internships that incorporate job skills development, work and leisure activities.

The internships will offer small stipends, possible college credit and the opportunity to earn a letter of recommendation.

'It's very grassroots,' said Two Foxes Singing, executive director of Woape and AntFarm. 'We're engaging kids of the community in something meaningful.'

The summer program will be staffed by Two Foxes Singing, two occupational therapy students from Ithaca College and two occupational therapy students from Pacific University.

'AntFarm embodies the ideas of occupational therapy,' said Jenna Gordon, one of the Pacific students. 'It's about meeting people where they are.'

During the internship program, mornings will be dedicated to job skill sessions and work, while afternoons will offer activities including mountain biking, gardening and playing sports.

In addition to the internship program, Two Foxes Singing says Woape has arranged with local partners to hire 20 youth for summer work on mountain bike trails in Brightwood.

This means that about 50 teen and young adults all together will be participating in work-skills programs this summer.

Woape (pronounced 'woh-ah-pay') is a word in the Lakota language that means hope. The nonprofit was founded 15 years ago by Two Foxes Singing and branched out to include the youth-focused AntFarm, which represents 'the might of one and the power of many.'

AntFarm aims to open its development center on Proctor Boulevard this September.

'We will be happy to support projects and needs in the community as a way to network youth with community and civic responsibility,' Two Foxes Singing said.

Gordon added that promoting community involvement from youth and elders is something a small town can really prosper from.

'It's pioneering in Sandy,' she said. 'Hopefully we can expand.'

For more information, visit antfarm-international.com/, woape.com/ or call 503-622-3548.