FoodCorps Get to Know: Miguel from GBCS

Meet Miguel!

“All About Food” is a cooking class I teach to 6th-8th graders at Greater Brunswick Charter School in New Brunswick, NJ. Two days a week, students are engaged in food-related activities like gardening and nutrition; one day a week is dedicated to building their cooking skills.

At the end of the school year, students give administrators a list of specials that they would be interested in participating in; this can include art, music, Spanish, yoga, computers, and of course, cooking. “All About Food” is on a trimester schedule, and our first trimester wrapped up yesterday, December 4th. I wanted to highlight one of our most enthusiastic students, Miguel, for a short interview.

I asked Miguel a few short questions about his experience before, during, and after “All About Food.”

When choosing his specials, Miguel picked cooking as one because “it’s fun to learn about new fruits and vegetables and new recipes from different cultures all around the world.” At the beginning, Miguel was hesitant to try our first recipe: a Purple Smoothie (which we ended up naming the “FoodCorps Smoothie” after our purple t-shirts). He cited the spinach in the smoothie and its strange color as why he was turned off to trying it. “I was judging the smoothie on its looks, but now I know I should try things and judge them by their taste,” proclaimed Miguel.

Miguel goes on to say that this class helped him get excited about trying new things; he always encourages his schoolmates to try the recipes we taste test in the class and cafeteria. A popular chant in the lunchroom is “Try new things!” which is always a cheerful sound for me. Miguel declares his favorite new recipes were the Mexican sweet potato scramble and salad tacos we made in class just recently.

One thing that Miguel learned from his time in “All About Food” is the importance of teamwork. “Working in a team is fun even when it gets messy because you get to spend time with friends and family,” stated Miguel. Instead of watching TV or going on the computer, Miguel now spends more time with his mom and dad helping to prepare dinner to keep learning more about cooking.

I asked Miguel if cooking was going to be a part of his future job and he replied with an emphatic “Yes.” Miguel wants to be a doctor, and he says that knowing about healthy eating and delicious healthy recipes will help him help people who are experiencing troubles with their weight. He wants people to feel good about changing their diet because “being healthy can be really tasty and fun.”

Reflecting on his trimester with me and his “All About Food” classmates, Miguel wants to send a big thank you to FoodCorps for having me there as a service member (I’m tearing up a little as I transcribe this) and for being able to “learn awesome things about food.”

As we continue with the school year, I know that I have a new healthy eating ally in Miguel.

Photo Credit: Jair B. (GBCS)
Photo Credit: Jair B. (GBCS)