2018 High School Fellows Announced

Young People Making a Difference in Sustainable Agriculture

Non-profit, Founded by Local Teen, Announces 2018 High School Fellows


Bloomfield, CT:  This week, an ambitious non-profit seeking to advance food stability and economic progress where it is needed most, awarded High School Fellowships to two Northwest Catholic High School Students.  Christian Heiden, a 19 year old sophomore at the University of Connecticut and graduate of Northwest Catholic High School, founded Levo International, Inc. in 2015 with the help of his family and classmates with the goal of establishing hydroponic farming in the western hemisphere’s poorest country.  This week, James Nicholas and Benjamin Lee join the team developing hydroponic farming solutions in both Hartford and Haiti.

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil, using fertilized water.  The method substantially reduces the variability and risks associated with traditional agriculture.  70% of global water usage is attributed to agriculture and hydroponics can use 90% less water than traditional agriculture. 

“I am really excited to have both Ben and James on the team.  They represent an important step forward in our ability to gain data and refine our systems,” said Mr. Heiden.  “The two Fellows will be an important part of our efforts to assist local food stability organizations and gather data to support our work in Haiti.”

Both of the new Fellows worked this summer on the Levo’s hydroponic farming facility, which is on the campus of the Iowa-based non-profit, Many Hands for Haiti in Sylvain, on the outskirts of Pignon, Haiti.  “They demonstrated maturity, talent, and dedication to the work of enhancing food stability in the region.”  The two students will be active in managing the farming systems and collecting data that Levo operates and supports in the Hartford area, including on the Northwest Catholic High School campus.  They will also support the community education initiatives for the organization, including supporting future immersion trips.