Student of the Month :: Malyneda Noel
Posted: September 4, 2012
"I knew that I was changing. So I thought if I can change (my family) can too."
Incoming North Park High School Senior Malyneda Noel said Youth L.E.A.D. transformed not only her dietary habits, but those of her family.
"My mom's been cooking every day now; she used to cook only twice a week. She wants to cook. She wants us to be healthier. She wants us to eat better. When she saw me start changing my diet it made her happy. And when she came to the (Youth L.E.A.D.) parent meeting she learned a lot. And when she saw I was changing it made her want to change," said Malyneda.
She added that besides eating more home-cooking, her family has made serious changes in their diet: They no longer eat fast food or junk food; and as a result they have a lot more energy.
"I actually started walking more and running. Destiny (sister), Erica (cousin) and I started walking, running and being more active," Malyneda said. This is a big contrast to before when she would come home from school and just want to sleep.
Over the last year Malyneda has worked with Youth L.E.A.D. in a variety of roles: She's assisted with Outreach, she worked as an apprentice at the Green Urban Living Center (GULC) Community Garden and she was recently appointed as a peer mentor to help manage incoming apprentices. She said she has learned the most about food justice, health and nutrition through being a peer mentor.
"It's a lot different experience teaching it. I didn't know all of the background stuff. I only really learned it when I started teaching it myself. Now I feel like I understand it," Malyneda said.
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