The Green Bronx Machine project believes that lettuce is the way out of trouble. The urban farming program gives low income teenagers from the South Bronx a chance to learn how to plant, harvest, and enjoy the crops they produce.

Stephen Ritz, the project’s founder, began his career as an educator. Along the way, he found a new incentive for kids to stay in school: growing. In 2012, Ritz was invited to give a TED talk on the organization that he’s founded, to incredible success.

In the talk, Ritz says that he began the Green Bronx Machine because he saw obesity and illness in almost all of his students. As the neighborhood became poorer, nutrition suffered. The solution? Grow your own food, and teach students to do the same.

Since then, Ritz’s idea has picked up speed. The Green Bronx Machine has been featured on Disney Channel, TNT, and even in Progressive’s new ad campaign.

Watch the video to see a truly inspiring project.

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