Archive for the ‘Senior Healthy Champions’ Category

Teen Reflections on the Globe

On February 13th, I attended the Boston Globe’s community session talking about the 68 Blocks article they wrote in December about the Geneva/Olney/Bowdoin neighborhood.  We sat with residents and others in the neighborhood to talk about the streets and the way the article was written.

Out of everything we was talking about, there was some things I liked and some things I disliked:

One thing I liked about the video they showed is that there were whole lot of people I knew on it and all the little kids having fun and getting along with each other just the way they are supposed to.

A thing I disliked about the video is that the Globe was only showing how much violence is happening here.  The video showed what had happened years ago, how there was  whole lot of shooting around which was really disturbing to me because I really didn’t know anything about that.

We can make a change in our community and it’s happening too, but I didn’t see much of that. There are a lot of things going on on this street. They could have chosen some other things instead of a grown up shooting a little kid. I mean, I understand that’s one of the biggest problem we have with our community but there are good things too.

I also felt sad because they showed so many negative sides of the Cape Verdean community.  There are Cape Verdeans doing great things here too – and there are people of other races who are part of the problem.  Being Cape Verdean myself, it makes me worry that what the Globe showed about my community might make people think differently about me.

In order to make a change in our community, people have to come together with a different conversation instead of only the violence and bad education because there’s whole lot of things going on in Bowdoin-Geneva that need to be changed.  Homeless people need a place to stay and food to eat.  Sick people need others to take care of them.

Instead of putting people down about their culture, I hope we can all talk about something that’s more positive and do something to make things better.


Youth Intern Profile: Deise Mendes

Deise MendesHello, my name is Deise Mendes. I am 16 years old, I’m a sophomore at Excel High School in South Boston. During this school year, I will be working at the Bowdoin Health Center as a healthy food access intern. I’m really excited to work here because I’m looking forward to learning and trying new things. During this school year I want to be focused on my school work and preparing for a job down the road.  This internship is perfect for me because it makes me think about my own health and gives me time to balance my homework too!

At my school, I’m also the president of the Multicultural Club.  That means I’m responsible for organizing and thinking up new ideas for school events.  In January, we’re running a Black History Month event that’s focused on Cape Verdeans.  I’m proud of being the president because I get to be a leader and I feel like I am good at helping out.

I was born in Cape Verde and came here when I was 8 years old. Since I came to the US, I have lived in Dorchester. To me, Dorchester is fun – I can’t lie – and I’m looking forward to learning more about the community where I live.

I have 2 brothers, one is older than me and one is younger. During my free time I like to listen to music and watch TV. Among other things, I like to play volleyball – the only sport I’m actually good at. My favorite food is pizza, even though it’s not healthy but I like it anyway.  On the other hand, my favorite vegetable is broccoli so that’s pretty good.

When I get older, I want to be a nurse because I love helping others.  Working in a health center is a great opportunity to reach my goals and learn more about my future career.  I’m looking forward to being here this year.

& that would be it folks 🙂

Healthy Champions Promote DILLigence in Garden Education

On August 13, the Healthy Champions became the first group of youth ever to lead one of Boston Natural Areas Network’s widely recognized “Seed, Sow, & Grow” workshops, hosting more than 20 children and families at the City Natives garden site in Mattapan. The workshop showcased dill pickle making as a way to not only sustain the longevity of garden produce, but also as a way to educate participants on the evolution of vegetables from farm to plate.

To prepare for the day’s festivities, the Healthy Champions created a “10 Steps to Perfect Pickles” checklist (listed below), designing visual aids for each step of the pickle making process which corresponded with work stations set up around the garden. They monitored each station with the assistance of City Native’s staff, doing everything from washing cucumbers to aiding first-time pickle makers in the art of spice selection. Families were able to leave the workshop with their own variations of dill pickles, along with additional colorful creations of pickled veggies such as okra, carrots, peppers, and green beans. The day culminated with a group harvesting session in the teaching garden…with the majority of the harvest eventually making its way into the hands of hungry workshop hosts on the train ride back to Bowdoin Street!

Educating youth and families around the health benefits of fresh and affordable produce continues to be one of the primary focuses of the Healthy Champions program. The Healthy Champions have come up with an idea for a city-wide campaign to increase awareness about the benefits of local growing. Both Boston Natural Areas Network and The Food Project are excited to offer their collaborative assistance in this upcoming project, following the lead of the Healthy Champions as they prepare to tell the world why “Seeds Make Cents”. Stay tuned!

10 Steps to Perfect Pickles
by the 2011 Healthy Champions

What you need!
•Cucumbers (or other veggie of your choice)
•Jar with lid (like a Mason jar)
•Kosher Salt
•White Vinegar
•Hot Peppers (optional)
*There is no set amount of dill/garlic/peppers to use, so feel free to tailor the recipe to your own taste!

What to do! 
1. Wash cucumbers
2. Cut cucumbers into pickle-shaped spears
3. Put spears into jar and pack tightly
4. Sprinkle 1teaspoon of peppercorns into the jar
5. Peel garlic and add to jar. Then add fresh dill
6. For spicy pickles, add pieces of hot peppers
7. Have an adult bring equal parts white vinegar and water to a boil. Add kosher salt (5 tablespoons for ever 2 quarts of water). Stir to dissolve
8. Pour hot mixture into the jar and fill to the top
9. Leave jars uncovered so they can cool. Then cover and put in the fridge. Leave in fridge for at least 24 hours.
10. ENJOY!

Photo Slideshow from Teen Day

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Photos from the Back-to-School Block Party

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Photos courtesy of Aidan Acker

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Appreciating My Job

Coming into this job, I had no idea what to expect for the summer. I had gotten hired and accepted the job because I really wanted a job during the summer. Not only this, but I did not want to stay home doing nothing. However, I thought that the job would do more things inside the clinic such as helping or watching the nurses. Come to find out that was not what we were going to do.

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My summer job

This summer was very fun and eventful, especially because I had worked with Maura at the Bowdoin Street Health Center. We performed tasks that included passing out flyers, helpiing at food pantries, assistance at Farmers Markets, and acting silly in costumes. It was fun for two reasons, one being that I got to hang out with people I know, and I got to do a job that meant something to me. I would love to do it again.

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