The day before Jade Walker started at U-32 her mom reminded her that although as a kid she wasn’t fond of school, she will be going voluntarily every day.
“That made me laugh,” Jade said. “But it made me want to help out kids who don’t like school and make them want to be here.”
Jade lived in Philadelphia for 15 years, where she managed to turn a vacant lot into an urban educational farm, made to help youth with nutrition. The farm is still operating today.
After coming to Vermont, she interned under guidance counselor Ellen Cooke. Jade is currently the middle school counselor.
When Jade was little she wanted to become an astronaut until she realized how much math is involved. She later decided that she wanted to have an outdoor job, and picked apples at an orchard for a while until she opened her farm in Philadelphia.
Jade has a three and a half-year-old son named Gus. “He’s a worker,” Jade said. “He likes to be employed, he stacks the wood for us.” He also told her that he wanted more friends so he could have bigger parties.
One of Jade’s first experiences at U-32 was when her T.A. wrote a note on her door about how much they loved her. “These kids just met me and they already did something like that,” Jade said. “It just makes me so happy to be here.”