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Students with special needs maintain a hydroponic and solar garden at Plant High School

TAMPA, Fla – Martin Ramirez loves getting his hands dirty.

“It’s all about teamwork,” Martin says, as he checks a pepper plant for bugs. “This is the best part!”

Junior Plant High School is participating in an innovative program at the Tampa School that introduces students with special needs to possible career paths.

It’s a working garden right in the middle of campus. It features terrestrial and hydroponic plantations and uses solar and renewable energy sources.

“The whole point of having this garden is giving these kids a hands-on experience which will hopefully translate into the workforce,” says Jessica Strauss, the Plant High teacher behind the successful program.

Tampa Urban Benefits (TUB) local nonprofit farms are partnering with the school to introduce students to career paths as diverse as gardening, agriculture, botany, finance, technology, and community enrichment.

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