What makes us unique? Our mission and values are at the core of how we serve our students.
Empower students to take on the world.
To cultivate leaders of tomorrow through student mentorship, environmental stewardship and a whole lot of organic gardening.
SOUL Garden (Students for Organic United Living) was born out of a strong desire to encourage student development through environmental stewardship. In NC State University’s first harvestable garden, students grow organic produce while nurturing and expanding their leadership, team building and work ethic skills. Structured around a teaching model, whereby graduate students mentor undergraduate students, SOUL Garden employs the university’s ‘Think and Do’ principle to assist students in creating and developing projects such as composting programs, green space initiatives and annual reports.
The development of our logo has been a creative process that truly reflects the experience we want to create, one that is centered around acceptance and community. The hand represents mentorship and humanity, while the outstretched palm symbolizes protection and peace. A sprout of optimism, growth and development germinates from the hand’s palm because here we grow knowledge about sustainable, organic agriculture while learning life skills and developing relationships. We have chosen green, brown, purple and blue colors because of their associated emotions and qualities. You can read about our branding identity here.
Led by 16 student interns who form six teams (communications, gardening, finance, infrastructure, design and marketing), SOUL Garden is helping students work towards their goals, increase their food security, build out-of-classroom (marketable) skills, and learn about organic gardening. Every day, we look for new ways of bringing confidence to our students so they can graduate feeling empowered to take on the world.
Our values represent the true nature of our work. They are the roots from which we’ve shaped our program and continue to grow today.
Our program relies heavily on transparency. Whether it is with our donors and graduate mentors or our undergraduate volunteers and the university, we keep the lines of communication open and always err on the side of further clarity.
An integral part of our program is the mentorship aspect. We encourage graduate students to serve as officers to guide our undergraduate volunteers. This enables the students to safely explore their talents while keeping to tasks that support their goals and aspirations.
One of our program’s greatest underlying aims is to cultivate an appreciation for and encourage a peaceful interaction with nature. Our student volunteers see immediate benefits to living in harmony with their natural environment. This is something we time and again see them internalize.
The success of our program depends on our ability to focus, solve problems, work within project deadlines, demonstrate leadership, cooperate with one another, and consistently bring value to every experience. As a team, we always keep our intended results clearly in view.
We are committed to forming strong relationships with other campus organizations, campus departments and local Raleigh-Durham businesses who can help us with complex tasks, such as setting up a drip irrigation system or introducing honey bee hives on campus. This fosters an environment where our volunteers recognize where and when they need to rely on outside resources and support to complete a project.
We believe leadership is achieved through intelligence, strength, humility, and service. As members of the NC State community, we feel an obligation to provide events to help students grow organically. We help students by spreading knowledge through experience and continuing to work even when the harvest is not favorable. We volunteer countless hours. We accept that we do not know everything and seek out different perspectives, inquiring every step of the way.
Help Us Out!
If you want to learn how you can get involved with SOUL Garden, you're in the right place. There are numerous ways you can help! We depend on donations, sponsorships, and the work of volunteers to maintain this green space at NC State University. Personal donations in any amount are welcome and appreciated, as are donations of the designated items listed below.