The Upside of Youngstown

Youngstown is very similar to Detroit, in wake of Detroit’s recent bankruptcy the future of Youngstown’s economy should be examined. While bankruptcy can be seen negatively, it is also a great reset. Opportunities are found at the bottom of markets, hence more millionaires were created during the great depression than any other time. Innovation and opportunity come from desperation. This is the reason I moved back to the Youngstown area to start an urban farm after graduating from Brown University in May.

When I was 17, Youngstown was rated one of the best cities to start a business. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. After writing a paper about the Youngstown 2010 plan, I saw the potential future of the city. I found my way to urban agriculture when volunteering in Idora and a teenager riding his bike asked me if I had a job for him. I said no, but we talked for a few minutes about the lack of jobs in the city, especially for teenagers. That’s when it clicked, vacant land throughout the city could become productive, yielding produce and jobs. We must leverage our creativity and community to grow businesses from the ground up.


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