A Place to GROW
Beyond Emancipation (B:E) and Game Theory Academy (GTA) are proud to announce the transfer of WOW Flower Farm in West Oakland from GTA to B:E.
Game Theory Academy converted the site, located in front of Oakland’s historic 16th Street Train Station, from an asphalt and gravel lot to a flourishing oasis and outdoor classroom in 2014.
Since then, WOW Flower Farm has served as a production site and classroom for a business run by youth under the mentorship of entrepreneurs, educators and farmers.
“B:E is an exceptional organization, known for quality and innovation, and I have long wanted the farm to serve foster youth. When we began looking for a new operator for the farm, B:E was one of the first calls I made,” says Patricia Johnson, founder of Game Theory Academy, which has run the WOW Farm Youth Entrepreneurship Program at two sites in West Oakland since 2012.
“We’re thrilled with this opportunity,” says Kate Durham, B:E’s Executive Director. “This new component of our workforce program will enable young people to gain hands-on employment experience while literally seeing the fruits of their labors.”
WOW Flower Farm will now do business as GROW Oakland Farm to align with B:E’s GROW (Gaining Resources for Opportunity and Work) Culinary Training Program.
The farm, under the leadership of Jess Myles who has run WOW Flower Farm since 2016, will continue to produce and deliver sustainably-grown wholesale flowers to area florists in addition to table arrangements for local restaurants, bouquets for sale at Mandela Marketplace, and arrangements for special events. Cohorts of interns will gain entrepreneurial and production skills through the farm. B:E hopes to expand the farm to vegetable production in the coming years to support healthy living and culinary programs.
To learn more about the farm, to volunteer or to support the program, please contact:
Julia Lakes, B:E Development Manager