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  • Writer's pictureTina Dierna

The COOP Concept History

We are a vocational enrichment program for youth that creatively forms relationships and strengthens community involvement.


Our mission is to empower Hudson Valley youth through immersive employment opportunities in sustainable agriculture, green building, and entrepreneurship.

  • We support the uniqueness, wholeness, and dignity of each person. We strive to respond to the individual needs and preferences of each youth we support and serve.

  • We enthusiastically advocate for the rights of marginalized youth so they may fully participate in and contribute to community life. This includes enjoying a secure home, education, public services, and work they find meaningful.

  • We view all human life as having equal and unconditional value. Each life should be nurtured, respected, celebrated, and fulfilled.

  • We support the life-long process of personal growth and development of all youth.

  • We will take every opportunity to offer education to others and advocate for basic civil rights.

  • We emphasize inclusiveness between our members and throughout our community efforts.

Founded in 2022, The COOP Concept’s founder, Tina Dierna, has led programs for youth in the Kingston community for over 8 years, serving over 200 Kingston High School youth annually. Tina has served as a consultant to grass rooted organizations in Kingston who have worked with high school youth.

Central to all of The COOP Concept’s programs is a unique organizational philosophy that prioritizes building connections and relationships, set within non-discriminatory and unplugged spaces. The COOP Concept is a vocational enrichment program in NY’s Hudson Valley that focuses on intentionally developing community based strategies to promote racial equity and environmental justice through building deep and consistent connections that support the success of youth.


The COOP Concept’s model is designed to meet youth where they are at. We believe creating circumstances in which learning can happen naturally is vital to the success of the youth. We identify activities that are developmentally appropriate for youth and encourage curiosity to build their confidence in their own ideas.

We encourage constructive peer pressure to foster healthy risk-taking and valuing both failure and success as critical elements of learning. Our primary goals relating to the youth we serve include:

  • Cooperative education and experiential learning are central to the learning and professional development of those we employ and work with through activity that continues to focus on improving the social and emotional health and well-being of young people.

  • The cooperative education program will equip youth with the skills and confidence necessary to excel in the full-time job market.

  • Provide others with the possibility to be able to immerse themselves in different cultures, norms and responsibilities to enhance gratitude, empathy and purpose.

  • To create well-rounded, global citizens with an emphasis on whole and healthy communities through our practice of leadership and local service citizenship.

Seen you soon,


Tina + Emily



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