Sha’dia Rosemond is a bright, young, and valuable member of the greater Greenville community. She worked as a Steward Fellow for a nonprofit called Sustaining Way. A position that sparked her passions for gardening, health, and environmentally conscious architecture.
She was introduced to Sustaining Way through her mother’s best friend who works for a program called SHARE. Sha’dia volunteered with SHARE and found herself at Annie’s House in a bountiful community garden placed in the heart of Greenville’s Nicholtown neighborhood. Everything unfolded from there.
“I met a lot of great people. It was really fun to be out there in an environment that’s meaningful to you.”
After volunteering with SHARE at Annie’s House, Sha’dia became a Steward Fellow for Sustaining Way. At first, when she joined the program she desired its promising appearance on a college resume. However, it didn’t take Sha’dia very long to realize that Sustaining Way’s mission also aligned with her own.
“Sustaining Way aligned with my values. Growing up, my grandparents always had a beautiful garden, which we would use to grow our own vegetables in. So, I knew I was already interested in this type of work.”
Sustaining Way’s programming around healthy behaviors really challenged Sha’dia. She wanted to be healthier and eat healthier. She felt that after growing up with her grandparent’s garden, running track in high school, and becoming a vegetarian, she needed to take the steps that were right for her and her health. As she continues her path, she wants to incorporate gardening and wellbeing as a personal focus.
“With Sustaining Way, I realized how important health and eating habits were. It turned me into the kind of person I am right now. It helped point me in the right direction of what I want to focus on in my life.”
As a Steward Fellow for Sustaining Way, Sha’dia gained many great memories. She learned a lot about sustainable architecture. In fact, she fell in love with it so much that she plans to make it her focus for college. She enjoyed learning which light bulbs and thermostats are the most eco-friendly. She especially loved learning how to seal cracks within a house to prevent unwarranted airflow, which saves energy. She also highlighted that one of her favorite moments was simply planting flowers with her group. All of these details engaged Sha’dia in a way she had never expected.
“One time we planted flowers, and it wasn’t easy work. But having that moment and completing this with such a great group, it made me realize that it was one of my favorite moments.”
At home, she has started a garden for herself, enthused with the process and the sense of community it brings to her life. She speaks highly of her own neighborhood. She says she remembers when her neighbor used to give her tours of their own garden and how that made her feel. Seeing Nicholtown’s history and its own connection with community gardening was inspiring for her. It’s something she wants to see even more of in her own community.
“I saw how Sustaining Way impacted a neighborhood. We would walk around and see tomato plants on people’s porches. It was cool to see that Sustaining Way did tomato growing workshops within the community.”
Currently, Sha’dia plans to take a gap year to travel and see the world before starting her college career. She has been accepted into Morgan State University and will pursue an architecture degree focused on sustainability.
“If I didn’t engage with Sustaining Way, my path would have been very different. It helped me realize what I wanted to do as a major in college.”