Photo by S. Kalinina

Mud Baron

Farmer, Teacher and Project Director, Pasadena
There’s this bias in education that if you work with your hands, you’re less intelligent. We’ve stopped showing students how to make, to build, to do.

For 12 years, I’ve had the coolest job ever: teaching gardening to kids. My students earn a paycheck by growing food, flowers and their own futures. We sell what we grow, and we brought in $100,000 last year.

It’s a teen jobs program that looks like a farm. Students learn to show up on time, problem-solve and work as a team. They become leaders, entrepreneurs and great employees.

With all the jobs I’ve had, I never realized the seeds I was planting. I’m a farmer, a teacher, a business owner and an artist. I want to show my kids they can be all of those things. Because I’ve been given a lot in my life, and when you’re given to, you have to give back.

Photo by S. Kalinina