In addition to PUENTES, Terhune is also involved with the Defenders of Wildlife and Friends of the Calaveras River. His passion for environmental advocacy and conservation started when he was a college student, helping run a small organic garden that provided food for low-income families in Chico, California.
After college, Terhune join the Peace Corps: an experience that allowed him to spend several years in Panama. “It was through the Peace Corps where I found my commitment,” Tehune reminisced. His experience inspired him to be an engine for change in environment and international development.
Far from all the good memories from Panama, Terhune brought to Stockton a concept of social entrepreneurship. Upon his arrival, he started PUENTES` first project: the first urban farm in Stockton at Boggs Track. PUENTES is a project that attempts to help disadvantaged families by teaching them how to grow and sell their own food while simultaneously offering training and educational opportunities.
Terhune`s biggest challenge in working in this community is “how we see hunger.” Terhune envisions a plan that would solve hunger from its roots by teaching people how to be sustainable: not by simply providing food aid a few days.
“We have a five year business plan,” says Terhune. “Our goal this year is to have an agriculture program up and running and to sell produce to some local business that already made agreements with us.”
Often, many are surprised by Terhune’s Spanish communication skills. He speaks both English and Spanish fluently, “I love the Latino culture and Panama; I have a lot of close friends there.”
As Terhune continues his advocacy work, he hopes to help build a confident and strong community. “We spend too much time getting people together to act on issues and not on building people up as leaders to continue advocating for themselves on a more prolonged basis.”