Meet Jaden Harris, a Food Service Utility Worker in the City Seeds kitchen in Edgewood.
Jaden came to Humanim in 2022 as a utility worker in the City Seeds kitchen, which feeds young people in the Freestate ChalleNGe Academy. He often starts his day early, prepping for breakfast and helping the team be ready to serve a good breakfast. It’s a second home for him. “I always feel good in the kitchen,” Jaden says.
That stems in part from his father, a master chef who taught Jaden how to properly set a table and serve a fancy meal.
“I got that knowledge for free from my father,” Jaden says. “Every Monday night, we had a meal with palate cleansers and a centerpiece on the table. That’s how I learned. He said, ‘One day you’ll be at a state dinner.’ He was pushing me; he wanted me to be ready for those big dinners.”
Jaden is a go-getter who works full time and goes to Harford Community College full time, pursuing a general studies degree. The work with the Freestate program has furthered Jaden’s desire to continue on at a four-year college to earn a legal studies degree and learn about family law.
It’s a constant juggling act. “You have to discipline yourself. I do an 8-hour shift, and I usually do my homework after work. I have to have a schedule. If I have a schedule at work, I have a set schedule at school, and I never let them cross over.”
Jaden grew up in Edgewood and roots for the Ravens. For fun, he listens to music – old school and new R&B — goes shopping, or visits family.
The job with City Seeds has helped Jaden become more social with co-workers and the youth. “A couple of years ago, I was an introvert. I’m not really a ‘social’ type. But this job has given me the opportunity to build relationships with co-workers and the Freestate young people, so I’ve become more social. It’s been a really good experience since Day 1.”
Now, he considers himself a good listener. “People tell me their problems; they bring their problems to me. I usually give them my best options and they may go with it. I have a good ear.”