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avatar for Derek Cummings

Derek Cummings

GrowingChange
Youth Leader
Wagram, NC

Derek Cummings, age 18, is an ‘original’ youth leader with GrowingChange, meaning he helped create the model GrowingChange uses to flip closed prisons into sustainable farms and educational centers. Derek recently presented this model at NC A&T State University, teaching faculty and students about how NC used more forced prison labor to build its road system than any other state in the nation. As a young person who was kicked out of home, out of school and put on probation at a young age, Derek knows first-hand what it takes to change his future, ‘flip the prison.’ He now advises the state of NC, how to ‘flip’ closed prisons in low wealth rural areas from being the most prominent environmental hazard into being a significant asset. Derek is planning to pursue training in welding in Job Corp as he completes his GED.