Success Story: Lynna Thai

"I fell in love with the environment, the people, the community."


July 21, 2021

MAKE Projects’ Executive Director Anchi Mei recently met with City Farmer Nursery’s Rebecca and Sam Tall over a glass of iced tea at Nate’s Garden Grill. With a shared love and commitment to City Heights, gardening and refugee workforce development, it was a match made in heaven thinking ahead to ways that employ more of MAKE Projects’ refugee and immigrant job training graduates in the coming years.


The conversation soon landed to Lynna Thai, just hired at City Farmer Nursery in June 2021. When Lynna graduated from MAKE Projects’ Youth Trainee program in the fall of 2020, there was only one place she wanted to work: City Farmer Nursery! “From the first time I went there, I fell in love with the environment, the people, the community,” says Lynna.


As a City Heights resident and going to start her junior year at Crawford High School in the fall, Lynna reflects the diverse community that City Farmer Nursery is proud to serve and uplift. When Rebecca Tall first interviewed Lynna, they didn’t have any positions she could fill but Rebecca recognized Lynna’s passion and worked over the next few months with her brother Sam to create a position for Lynna! “Lynna had so much passion. We knew we wanted to hire her. We want City Farmer to reflect the neighborhood. We are proud and grateful to have grown up in City Heights ourselves,” says Rebecca.


Here are some highlights from Anchi’s recent interview with Lynna:


What do you like about your job?

I like getting to interact with customers. I have learned a lot about animals and plants. I love gardening. The learning experience here is very intriguing.


How have you grown?

Working at City Farmer Nursery has pushed and challenged me to learn so I can know the information to teach to customers.


What did you learn from your job training experience at MAKE Projects?

I think my skill of being able to talk to people. I learned a lot of facts about the garden and how it operates. Everything pieces together – Project CHOP and the garden and produce. There are smaller sections that piece together to make a whole. I learned about coordination between different projects.


The most important job readiness skill about being on time and time management. It showed me the importance of how being on time plays a difference in everything. Before I was afraid of asking questions or expressing my curiosity and confusion over things. Afterwards, I learned to just go for it because it is better to learn than to be left in the confusion.


Since Lynna has been on the job, Sam has been so impressed with her attention to detail, desire to learn and complete any tasks, and an ability to ask questions and take initiative.

All of us at MAKE Projects and City Farmer Nursery are so proud of Lynna’s growth and trajectory at work and in life. Go Lynna go!


Support the Fall Campaign to refugee and immigrant women and youth the skills to create self-sufficiency and achieve their dreams. Your donation will be matched by the Parker Foundation! Give now at www.sdmake.org/fall-campaign