Wyky Jean, Project Director, and Interim Executive Director of the South Side Farms Project.

Wyky Jean, (pronounced Wih-key John) many know him because of his work with the Honorable Young Men Club. But to know Wyky is to know a man who has made it his life mission to make the world a better place than he found it. Without fanfare he has made an impact on the lives of many young men in the Cape Girardeau community especially on the south side. Now he takes the helm as interim Director of the South Side Farms project.

Wyky, a first generation American comes to Cape from Pompano Beach, Florida, where he was born and raised. He received a scholarship In 2009, to play football for Southeast Missouri State University. He graduated with a degree in Corporate Communications and rather than leave he adopted Cape Girardeau as his second home.

During his thirteen years in Cape Girardeau, he has become very involved in the betterment of the Cape community. One of Wyky’s most notable accomplishments was the Honorable Young Men’s Club, a program at Cape middle school, Cape Jr High and Cape High School. Wyky along with co-founders Cantrelll Andrews, Kweku Arkorful, and Aaron Adeoye became aware of the troubles these young boys were experiencing and decided to develop a meaningful intervention. Collaborating with Danny Rees of the Christian Boxing Academy at the Salvation Army they put together a mentoring program that changed the paradigms, behaviors and outcomes of these young men. Wyky and his colleagues have had a generational effect on the over 225 young men their program reached. Jean helped teach young men critical life skills, positive behavioral practices, and expose the kids to new opportunities to enable them to realize and reach their full potential.

His work did not go unnoticed as well as his extensive community relationships. Jimmy Wilferth, Vice President of Foundation and Marketing at Saint Francis. said at the time, “With his extensive community relationships, his expertise and experience will be instrumental as we continue to care for the communities we are called to serve.”

Southside Farms Project Director and Interim Executive Director

“In this role, it is my intent to recruit the right person from the South Side to take on the role as Executive Director and to groom that person for the role.

Additionally, a big part of my responsibilities will be to build the infrastructure of the non-profit, connect with the community, understand what the community needs are and reverse engineer those needs into effective and impactful programs.” Wyky will be instrumental in engaging the hearts and minds of the people while encouraging participation from our community to develop and fulfill the mission and goals of the South Side Farms Project.

One of his first and most important acts was the hiring of Farm Manager Jake Smith, said Wyky, “We are blessed to have such a talented and knowledgeable addition to the team like Jake.”

The Farm Manager manages all farm operations, administrative and record-keeping tasks related to the farm business and overall success of the farm project. Develops and manages all aspects of the farm production, fields including growing vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

Jake is from Dexter Missouri and a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University. He later relocated to the St. Louis area to pursue his interest in Agriculture. After graduating from Earth Dance’s Farm & Garden Apprenticeship, Jake went on to spend two seasons apprenticing at Seeds of Hope Farm in Spanish Lake, Missouri, which is part of the non-profit Community Action Agency of St. Louis County, Inc. In 2017, Jake moved into the position of farm manager, where he managed production for the Community Supported Agriculture program. Seeds of Hope Farm is operated by the Community Action Agency of St. Louis County (CAASTLC) to increase food security in area food deserts. Jake has nearly a decade of experience.

Said Smith, “One of the first things I am doing in preparation for planting is designing the layout of the land, the planting areas, access point and other infrastructure. The first planting will probably occur in late spring consisting of summer crops using the information gathered at community meetings and talking with community members, we want to grow what the people said they wanted to eat.”