Urban GEMS (Gardening Entrepreneurs Motivating Sustainability)

A Different Way to Grow!

Do you enjoy getting your hands dirty?
Looking for a new way to grow fresh vegetables?
Want a fun way to grow your knowledge and your Community?

The Africentric Personal Development Shop (APDS) has a new way for you to grow. And this growth stretches far and wide into your community. Be a part of APDS’s innovative program, Urban Gardening Entrepreneurs Motivating Sustainability.

Urban Gardening Entrepreneurs Motivating Sustainability (Urban GEMS)

Urban GEMS uses gardening education to grow youth and community wellness even in the driest urban food deserts. We welcome youth between the ages of 12 to 19 in Urban GEMS. Using the freshest food production technology to grow healthy foods, the program promotes healthy eating in places where fruits and vegetables are not always available.

How Young People Grow

How Communities Grow



APDS Indoor Garden
1854 Parsons Avenue Columbus, Ohio
Millennium Community School
3500 Refugee Rd. Columbus, OH
Various schools during school year


• [MONTH] through [MONTH]


• APDS Indoor Garden 1854 Parsons Avenue Columbus, Ohio

Program Background

The Urban GEMS youth development initiative was founded in 2018 by Dr. Deanna Wilkinson, an Ohio State University professor.

Beyond growing nutritious food, the program grows young people by teaching academic enrichment, entrepreneurship, leadership development, and community service.

Urban GEMS participants come from some of the most economically depressed areas of Columbus. This program provides hope in midst of hopelessness.

“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence;
but by the distance they have traveled from the point
where they started.” – Henry Ward Beecher