Transforming Lives in Suffolk
We exist to empower people to flourish in all of their relationships – including their relationship with nature! We hire teenage interns to work on our organic farm. We sell the produce to our dynamite customers. We pay our interns and provide them with training, resources, connections and support through our stellar volunteer team.
Created to Serve Our Local Community
Hope for Suffolk was founded in 2010 as a community development initiative to assist families in crisis. Over the years, we have evolved into a youth development organization that has 2 components: (1) a paid internship and (2) training in life skills. Over 40 high school interns work on our organic vegetable farm and learn first-hand how to thrive, not just in the workplace but in life. The internships is 8 months and we work intensively with our teens to set and achieve goals, develop relationships and learn skills that will serve them throughout life.
We are explicitly Christian and teach from a biblical point of view, although our teenage interns are not required to be Christians.
We cater to youth who often lack access to opportunities.
We work with teens but support the whole family.
We have academic scholarships, college internships, volunteer & community service opportunities, leadership development opportunities and an amazing Harvest Festival that the teens put on.
In order to pay these amazing teenagers, we sell the organic produce they grow in a “CSA” (Community Supported Agriculture) or “Farm Shares.”
- Work: Working is part of God’s blessing and part of being human
- Participation: We are all participants in the process of community development, reconciliation and transformation.
- Evangelism: The gospel is implicit in our actions and explicit in our words.
- Discipleship: Striving together to become more Christ-like
- Biblical Justice: A society in which people treat one another as the image bearers of God
- Racial Reconciliation: A value for the richness and blessing of diversity
- Sustainability: All of God’s creation should be managed with the utmost care for the future
Director of Hope for Suffolk
For her entire career, Hayden has been driven by the quote:
“Give a man a fish and he has food for the day;
Teach a man to fish and he has food for a lifetime;
Empower a man to think about fishing in new ways and his life will be changed forever!”
– Scott Allen & Darrow Miller, The Forest in the Seed
Hayden believes that the key to poverty alleviation and community development is in empowering individuals to think about life, the world, relationships and work in new ways, informed by the Bible. By creating adult learning experiences, affirming the dignity of individuals and equipping the church to do the same, Hayden seeks to see the city of Suffolk look more and more like the Kingdom of God.
She hold a degree in Economics and Community Development from Covenant College. Hayden is the founder of the Coalition Against Poverty in Suffolk, a non-profit organization in which over 20 churches partner to provide effective and appropriate emergency bill assistance. Prior to working at Hope for Suffolk, she worked in Tanzania, East Africa as a community development worker.
Hayden is married to her rock star of a husband, Chris Blythe, and they have 2 daughters who fill their lives with color.
Since her teen years, Sarah has been passionate about living a lifestyle that embodies social justice and community building. Much of her work has been focused with teens and young adults. Her journey with sustainable agriculture was born out of a desire to connect people with God, with each other, and with the Earth. Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, Sarah spent seven years in Hawaii where she studied sustainable development, permaculture, and agroforestry. Combining this with a background in missions, Sarah founded a church-sponsored community garden with the goal of bringing the church and community together around a better understanding of stewarding God’s land in a way that is just and abundant for all.
Sarah has also worked in the sustainability private sector, specializing in energy and water efficiency, circular economy business models, green living and zero waste blogging, non-toxic personal and home care, and rainwater harvesting. She enjoys hiking and diving with her husband, paddle boarding with her dog, and seeing how many fruit, vegetable, and herb plants she can cram into her 1 acre suburban lot.
Nyasia is a nineteen-year-old native of Suffolk, VA. In Spring of 2019, she graduated from Lakeland High School with an Advanced Studies Honors diploma, from Paul D. Camp College (Camp Community College) Cum Laude with an Associates of Arts and Science Degree in General Studies as well as a one year certificate. Currently, she is attending Norfolk State University majoring in History and is scheduled to graduate in the year of 2021.
At a young age, Nyasia accepted Christ into her life. Growing up in a low-income neighborhood, she always wanted to help her community and peers. Through mentoring and tutoring people from her neighborhood and city, Nyasia found a passion for helping others. This passion has led Nyasia to serve on different committees and teams designed to serve the community. In high school, she served as the President of the Community Restoration club where she was able to chair events aimed to beautify and help the community. Nyasia enjoys doing video production, practicing piano, playing video games, and spending time with her family and friends.