Divam Gupta

Real Kids Real Food Counselor Ages 13-18 In the Fall of 2020

I always thought of eating healthy as a hard lifestyle that I could never do, especially at my present age of 16. I never knew all the complete benefits of it either. Before I started this program I didn’t know how to start having a healthier lifestyle. The first steps I learned were eating better, exercising more, and being stress-free. As a teenager, I never knew how to actually incorporate this in my daily life. That is why I think that Real Kids Real Food is so beneficial to me as an intern and also for the other kids. Knowing more information about a plant-based diet, what is actually in the food I eat, and overall facts on the world that we live in, was exciting to learn.

Each week when I prepared for the lesson plan I grew even more excited to do it; week after week because being healthy became fun. Another reason I loved interning at this program is because of the real reactions that the kids had about how the choices they made affected the environment, and the climate justice problems happening in the world. The deep and profound discussions we had about how we can minimize the issues that are happening were very unique and informative.
Overall my whole experience has been great because I had the opportunity to help others and teach myself more knowledge about having a proper lifestyle and social justice.

Selena Latzke

Real Kids Real Food Counselor Ages 13-18 In the Fall of 2020

I have learned so much by being a part of this ETT class, not only from the speakers, but from the stories and experiences shared by others in the class, in addition to learning a lot about myself. It helped me to discover how dedicated I can be towards improving my health and lifestyle, as well as taught me that I need to be patient. I’d say my biggest takeaway overall was that health is a lifelong journey, as it can take several years to transform physically, emotionally, and spiritually, but each step is so worth it.

I have been struggling with a few chronic illnesses and although they are not technically lethal, they are at times detrimental to my well being, which of course severely heightens my stress and in turn exacerbates my illnesses. Through this program, I have further realized the connections between mind, body, and spirit, learning about new ways to practice mindfulness and just how helpful that can be.

I have been angry and distrustful at doctors for only focusing on symptom management rather than holistic approaches and prevention, but this program has given me an abundance of information regarding traditional and ancient medicine and wisdom that I can finally trust and believe in. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the power of raw foods and sprouts, functional medicine testing, meridians and chakras, and that I am my own doctor and master of my own destiny. It is never too early or too late to begin your healing journey.

I am certain that by applying what I have learned here and by being gentle and patient with myself, I can begin to heal my body entirely while protecting myself against additional issues in the future.

Thank you, ETT!

Jacke Wang

Real Kids Real Food Counselor Ages 13-18 In the Fall of 2020

I have enjoyed the fun of both teaching kids and learning in the 9-week program. I have studied physiology, environment, justice, and health separately in the field of biology, environmental science, politics, and public policy. However, it is now until this class that I link everything together. And I think we need more people understanding the intersectionality of these concepts and fields. We should recognize both how climate change is happening on a grand level, and how we can eat greener to lower carbon footprint on a micro level.

I am really glad to make any contribution in the green movement. I also really enjoy working with other counselors in our climate justice team. Selena always shares good ideas about Veganism; Solomon has an impressive understanding of public health; Divam has deep connection with the teenagers we work with and really explains every concept neatly. It is very fortunate to work in such a team and I was fortunate to learn to organize meetings and check in with everyone’s work. By the end of the class, our participants told us about their real-life transformation in eating less meat, less fat, and less sugar. I feel genuinely happy and fulfilled the moment I heard those words.

Solomon McBride

Real Kids Real Food Counselor Ages 13-18 In the Fall of 2020

Working as a health counselor for RKRF, engaging teens with honest conversations about health and environmental sustainability, was a transformative experience. As a health science major, I’ve always criticized a fee-for-service system, as it completely disregards preventative care, as it depended on people to become ill to create profits. When considering preventative care, health education is critical, serving as a tool to provide people with the agency to make informed decisions regarding their health. Betsy has created an amazing and comprehensive program with great intentions, one of which being engaging teens as they learn and develop healthy habits at such a critical age of knowledge development and habit formation. Having the opportunity to serve as a counselor, while also incorporating conversations about climate justice, gave us the opportunity to have honest conversations about race, intersectionality, and politics which are embedded in these conversations. This was an opportunity that I won’t forget, and while I hope the youth received a lot from this program, I can surely say I did.

 

Katerina(Kate) Doleckova

Real Kids Real Food Counselor Ages 7-11 In the Fall of 2020

In the fall of 2020, I interned at the Real Kids Real Food and the Eat to Thrive programs with Betsy Bragg. Primarily, I was one of the counselors for the 7-11 year old program and I also helped with administration and coordination of the Eat to Thrive program.

Being a counselor for the Real Kids Real Food program was so much fun. The kids were amazing and they participated so much; this motivated me to make the programs for them even more engaging, interesting, and fun. I mainly prepared the slides and plans for each workshop and I also really enjoyed demonstrating the recipes for the kids. We played many games and did a lot of activities, we also learned about nutrition and mindfulness. But what I believe the kids loved the most was learning to make recipes each week. I was very passionate about teaching the kids how to lead healthy lifestyles. For the Eat to Thrive program, I mainly helped with coordination and sometimes put together the workshop syllabi. I was more involved with the Real Kids Real Food program.

This internship has taught me so much and gave me a very valuable experience. I have become more confident speaking to other people and taking a lead during the workshops. Moreover, I had some experience with kids in the past, but working with children over zoom was challenging. There is so much room to be creative and make the program engaging in Zoom. I also think that I have improved in professional communication, which is so important in the professional world.

Betsy has been such an amazing mentor. She is very kind, understanding, and passionate about the work she does. I would recommend this experience to anybody who is interested in a healthy lifestyle and loves working with children!  I would also recommend all children to join this inspiring program.