Summer intern focuses on gardening, healthy eating and leadership skills for youth in Dane County

Dane County UW-Extension welcomes Donale Richards to the team for the summer.

Donale Richards

Donale is working with other Dane County UW-Extension Educators and community partners to develop hands-on gardening, healthy eating and leadership development activities for youth involved in gardening programs. He works directly with youth in garden-based activities and provides training and youth mentoring support in the Meadowood and Brentwood neighborhoods of Madison. He is leading team building activities focused on building youth leadership skills, developing neighborhood based community service activities, and assisting in additional program activities, such as cooking, food processing, field trips, community service work and program documentation. In addition, Donale is helping train teens in the Youth Advocates for Community Health Project (YACH) in the Brentwood neighborhood.

Donale’s bio:

I was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin and will proudly stay here for more years to come. Though I have lived all around the city at different points in time, I call the East side my home. I graduated from Madison East High School in 2012 and continued my education at UW-Madison. In August 2017, I will be receiving my B.S. degree in Biological Systems Engineering, specializing in natural resources.

I was involved with many organizations on campus like the National Society of Black Engineers – Wisconsin Black Engineering Student Society (NSBE-WBESS), Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS), the Wisconsin Association of Black Men (WABM) and the PEOPLE Program. My experience with these organizations led me to be passionate about teaching and mentoring under-served youth, especially on professional development and careers in STEAM fields. My position at UW-Extension as Food and Agriculture Education Coordinator has opened up more opportunities for me to engage with Madison youth. It also allowed me to network with like-minded professionals who desire to revolutionize our modern food system. I am excited about my new position as the Urban Youth Gardening and Leadership Intern with Dane County UW-Extension so I can make more of an impact in the Madison community.

To learn more about these programs, contact Donale at