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To folks in Worcester who care about youth and economic development

and environmental justice:

GoodGroupPicAs the newest Co-Director it is been an honor to be part of an organization that is doing such inspirational work and has accomplished so much.

In 2012, Worcester Roots staff and youth leaders have:

  •  Presented workshops to over 200 people for organizations and at conferences including the national Worker Cooperative Conference, the Confluence Network, the Community Environmental College and the Roxburry Environmental Empowerment Project Youth Summit.

  • Reached over 2000 people by promoting our issues through radio shows, social media, and local television and newspapers, college panels, and community events as well as co-hosted the New England Environmental Justice Summit at Clark University.

  • Received a mayoral proclamation declaring May, 2012 as the Month of the Cooperative (building upon the United Nations’ declaration of 2012 as the Year of the Cooperative) and hosted a Co-op Caravan, taking place over two days, highlighting 16 cooperative, community and green businesses and initiatives in Worcester. Watch the video here!

Over the years, Worcester Roots’ signature projects have been our youth leadership and skill development programs, our community organizing around issues of environmental health, and facilitating the movement towards a sustainable economy. Our achievements in these areas have been unparalleled by organizations of similar scale.

Worcester Roots Project also plays an important role in creating youth jobs. Each year we employ at least 17 youth from low-income and environmentally distressed communities of Worcester through our youth-led co-ops: Toxic Soil Busters, Youth in Charge and the Future Focus Media Youth Training Institute. Youth employment builds essential confidence, experience and employable skills, but youth employment rates have continued to suffer during difficult economic times – especially for youth of color. 


It’s not just a job, it’s learning how to be a successful and better my community and help kids. I’ve learned so much, from being able to speak in front of groups to making important decisions and that if we work together we can actually make a difference. I love Worcester Roots Project and all the great things I’ve learned from all the great people I’ve met.” - Xavier Robles, Youth In Charge!

Worcester Roots’ Board member Judy Diamondstone with Youth In Charge leaders Joey Butler and Xavier Robles

Worcester Roots Project has, as always, been instrumental in getting the word out about the dangers of lead poisoning and our lead remediation and lead-safe landscaping work are directly responsible for lowering the lead levels in the blood of Worcester children. To date we have worked with residents to remediate contaminated soil at over 60 properties, and provided countless trainings on lead contamination to individuals of all ages and backgrounds – from children at local schools to medical doctors.

Your help is essential to build on these accomplishments and continue our workin our history we've never had such a critical financial situation and need your generous support to ensure that these inspirational programs can continue for Worcester teens.

asayouthjobsIn 2009, I found out about the Toxic Soil Busters. This program gave me the skills, resources, and confidence to advance my career and education while making a positive impact on my community. The tools, friendships, and connections I've developed will stay with me for the rest of my life, and I owe it all to the Toxic Soil Busters and the Worcester Roots Project.” -Asa Needle, Future Focus Media Co-op and Toxic Soil Busters Co-op youth leader (2012 winner of national Brower Youth Award chosen for his work with Roots and TSB)

Imagine how much more we could do if we had enough resources to support our staff and hire and train more youth leaders.

As we grow into our second decade Worcester Roots Project's wants to focus on creating a multi-generational Co-op Training Academy – the only one of its kind in the country. We want to increase our efforts in the incubation of sustainable cooperative businesses and in strengthening economic development in Worcester. We will also continue our successful and inspirational trainings and workshops to build local leadership, research more affordable soil remediation techniques and disseminate to the community while mentoring youth to become empowered leaders who will effectively fulfill the Roots mission to work toward our vision of neighborhoods that are safe for living, working and playing.

We appreciate you standing with us – having the vision to support our transformational work in building a healthier, happier Worcester. But we can only continue to do this with your generous support today!

Please see our attached expanded list of accomplishments and check out our website at to look at our exciting News From the Roots newsletters.

We appreciate your consideration and value your involvement!


Sharron Tetrault, Co-Director



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Worcester Roots Project
5 Pleasant St, 3rd fl
Worcester, Massachusetts 01609

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