Voices from the 2010 Summer Crew about their experiences in "Food, What?!"
I have grown to be more social and more open especially to different cultures, because in Watsonville I saw only Mexicans. I learned about different cultures from my coworkers.
I improved my leadership skills, for example when I spoke in front of over 100 people, something I have never done before and am very proud of. Now I know that I can do it again.
I learned that healthy food packed with veggies can actually taste good. I now eat healthier and pay more attention to what I put in my body and how it affects me. Before I would maybe eat one vegetable in a week but now I cook with them almost every day and I love them. We are doing more than just growing organic food, we are building ourselves up with different skills and fighting for food justice.
I believe I have accomplished my one goal. I am able to be myself. I have almost completely annihilated all traces of my inhibited, quiet and scared pre-state. I am now able to act like I am. I can now expand to be a person I could have never dreamed to be. I have taken a 180-degree turn on who I am and how I present myself. I felt empty when I first started and how I actually feel something is there. I have broken such a personal wall that really makes me feel I can do anything, and I am excited all the time and I am more than ready to really stand up for what I believe and more than prepared to let anyone into my life. -Abel
Through this program, I learned how much of a difference I, as well as other youth can really make in a community. Out of all this work it showed me that there isn’t anything that can really hold you back… -Patrick
I used to not love myself. Every day I would question why I had friends, why people loved me. Only through this job have I been able to find reasons why and actually been able to believe them. I am creative, smart, funny, charismatic and gifted in dancing. Before I thought drugs and alcohol were the answers when they really where the problem. I have a family who supports me in my growth: “FOOD, WHAT?!” -Brandon
I’ve learned how to run a farm and also run my life. Also I learned to cook way better than before. - Celestino
I feel I changed in a way that I am more responsible in my family. As an older sibling, I have to set a good and positive example for my younger siblings…Teach them to be respectful, responsible and hard working. I am more hard working in what I do. When I start something, I get myself to follow through with it and the right way. -Geoleal
I start this work to learn English. I learned how to work in groups, to communicate the passion for my work and how to grow plants. I am a teacher after this work I will go to my house to teach my mom or my friends that they need to grow food. Organic is better then other food what are grown with pesticides. I need to pass what I learned in this farm to all the people on this planet. -Jose
I became more confident in everything I do which greatly influenced my leadership and public speaking skills in a positive way. I’ve become more social and less shy and nervous. FoodWhat taught me how important it is to be on time. I learned that the things I do may affect other people. I learned how to cook up some good yet healthy food and how I can do a lot just by spreading the knowledge and benefits of food justice. I usually don’t like working in groups to avoid socializing but now I realize I have a lot to offer to a group. My work will be easier and faster in a group. I am more responsible, more social, more confident, less stressed. -Malik
This Summer I’ve accomplished a lot of my goals. Some of them were to eat breakfast, comfortably speak in public, have control over my money, gain communication and leadership skill and keep a balance with myself with 2 jobs. I’ve changed my eating habits and my food choices when it comes to buying food and groceries. -Carina
I wanted to learn how to farm, and I did. Also at home I wanted to start changing how I said stuff to my sister and I have… I feel more like a leader than before. I used to eat fast food a lot but I don’t eat there anymore and I am very proud of it. -Blaze
What have I accomplished this summer? Leadership skills that will help me through my life, being more open with everyone and less inside. I learned how to prepared really good healthy meals. I look at my friends different and notice that they are not interested in anything I do but that keeps me going forward because in a way I am less distracted. I feel more rooted with the earth and true community. -Jorge
I feel I eat a lot healthier and I am more aware of good and bad foods. I am more responsible now with the actions I take. -Josh
This summer I really got to know myself, which I think is what I made me more open, confident and happy. I eat a lot healthier and enjoy all kinds of different vegetables and healthy food. Physically I’m a lot more healthy. I now care what my dollar goes towards when I shop. I have a lot more patience with everyday tasks. -Natasha
I have learned that actions speak louder than words, that leadership is influence, and that showing up on time is critical in a job. I’ve learned that taking care of your body is essential and if you don’t, it leaves an open space for you to not work to your full potential. I’ve learned that teenagers from different ethnicities, backgrounds, schools etc. can work together to create something beautiful. I’ve learned that I am strong and I can lead to the extreme. I feel more confident in my leadership skills. An example that’s made a huge difference in my life is the way I communicate with my dad. I use to shut him out whenever we had a problem or we disagreed. But I have been using some straight talk methods with him. It has helped me to open up to him instead of shutting him out. -Lorraine
This summer I have broken down many walls that I had barricaded around myself. I’ve helped myself with becoming more healthy inside and out and I have truly become happier person. I have become more patient and open-minded when it comes to communicating with others around me especially in complicated or hurtful situations. I’m much better at accepting who I am. Also, on a daily basis I am checking labels and really paying attention to what I am feeding my body. I have physically and mentally become strong and balanced. -Jazz
I have accomplished in this summer my first job and the commitment that I had by showing up everyday on time and ready to work, so I feel like I am really responsible. Also I changed the way I eat. I used to never read food labels on food and now I do. I used to drink soda and energy drinks and now I never do. -Diego
Accomplished a sense of community. I realized how important it is to smile. I have the courage and will step up and lead. I have gained knowledge of food justice and what we as youth and as people can do about it. My happiness has grown since I have been at food what. -CC