Catherine Ferguson Academy is an incredible place. It’s one of very few schools in America for pregnant girls and young mothers; it’s lowered the repeat pregnancy rate among its students to 10 percent, which is less than half the national rate for teen mothers; and for the past 9 years, all its graduates have been accepted into college.
It also turned its inner-city school yard into a farm in the middle of Detroit. Check out this trailer for Grown in Detroit a documentary about the school and farm.
Our group visited the school last week and met its powerhouse principal and some of the students. Whatever you want to say about the Motor City, it’s got some damn fine folks in it, and they won’t walk quietly into brownfield oblivion. West Michigan, you might think you have the corner on this state’s agricultural identity, but for all your heritage tomatoes and nostalgically named CSAs, I have yet to see alfalfa growing on empty lots in Grand Rapids.