skip to content
  • Calendar
  • Maps

Jasmyne Litanski

A budding community partnership between Weber State University and a local nonprofit started with a flier in a coffee shop.

Jasmyne Litanski had just graduated from WSU with a bachelor’s degree in social work when she spotted an ad seeking volunteers for Grow Ogden, a community farm launched through Eden Streets to help feed and employ those in need. 

“I sent the flier to my boyfriend and we started volunteering,” Litanski said. “At the time, they were still pretty new and hadn’t even found a plot yet.” 

Litanski spent much of her summer helping Grow Ogden transform a small plot on 28th Street into a thriving farm. “We cleared the plot, took out weeds and giant stumps, moved gravel around,” she said. 

When she started WSU’s Master of Social Work program in fall 2023, Litanski saw another opportunity to help Grow Ogden expand its mission to employ people in homeless populations, equipping them with skills that can ease them into full-time jobs.

“Someone who is homeless may have a lot of barriers to employment, including transportation, insurance or legal issues. Case managers can help remove or relieve those barriers and get them plugged into resources,” Litanski said. “So, I asked my professor if he’d be willing to meet with Grow Ogden to explore how Weber State could help with the social work aspects.” 

Litanski helped recruit fellow students under the guidance of Barrett Bonella, associate professor of social work. Since then, the team has helped with writing grants, program development and refining an intake process to assess trainees’ needs and capabilities.

Social work student Piper Greaves said she and her classmates also helped establish a job application and a needs assessment document for future case managers to utilize.

“Helping a program like this felt amazing and really inspired me to think about program management for other agencies,” she said. 

Bonella said 6–7 students are working with Grow Ogden this semester, with one student planning a 5K race to raise awareness and funds for the organization. 

While Litanski is focused on her first year of grad school, she hopes to use her talents to further serve Grow Ogden and other organizations in the local community. 

“Being involved in social work, you see an array of things that people need help with, but also the ways you can help meet those needs,” she said.