Meet Kid Power Student—Aliyah
When Aliyah joined Kid Power last year at Jefferson Middle School, VeggieTime was her least favorite activity. She was hesitant to participate and refused to try the new foods they had cooked using garden produce. No matter the recipe, she was not interested. It wasn’t until the spring when she began participating at weekend farmers markets that she began to embrace trying new foods. As she led healthy cooking demonstrations and engaged with community members, she became an outgoing advocate for her school garden and grew to see the impact that she could have in her community. The more comfortable she grew talking about her garden, the more she began to sample it herself.
Aliyah then attended Kid Power’s Summer Leadership Academy, where she not only actively participated in cooking classes, but led her team to victory in the Hot Sauce Challenge by taking a leading role in taste-testing recipes and demonstrating her marketing skills while selling their hot sauce.
Meet Kid Power Alumnus—Iyoha
Iyoha joined Kid Power in 2004 as a 4th grader at Miner Elementary School in violence-plagued Northeast DC. Iyoha had few male role models in his life, few opportunities to connect with his community in a positive manner, and no outlets for his anger. Joining Kid Power provided him with caring, supportive adults, positive role models, academic help, and opportunities to participate in meaningful service-learning projects. Through Kid Power’s partnership with the Georgetown Day School, Iyoha had a high school mentor for several years who gave him one-on-one academic and emotional support. As he started to form positive relationships and advance academically, he learned to control his energy and outbursts and began taking on leadership roles. He was especially engaged in service-learning projects and began to support his peers by helping to design new projects and teach younger peers how to bake and sell cookies to raise money for various charities. In high school, Iyoha returned to Miner Elementary as a tutor with Kid Power. Iyoha graduated Wilson High School in 2013 with an award for service hours completed (a record-setting 1,052 hours). Currently, Iyoha is in his junior year at West Liberty University in West Virginia, and works for Kid Power as a counselor at the Summer Leadership Academy each summer and assists in the office during his school breaks.
Kid Power Students Greening Their Community
Kid Power students at H.D. Cooke Elementary saw a serious environmental need in their community—their school did not have recycling or composting systems. Through VeggieTime, students had learned that such programs could help reduce waste and pollution in their community and lead to improved health. Thus, they spent months educating their peers about “reducing, reusing, and recycling” through posters and PSAs at school assemblies. Then, in conjunction with the DC Department of General Services, they launched school-wide recycling and composting initiatives. Kid Power students served as Waste Monitors at lunchtime to help their classmates determine what was trash and what could be composted or recycled. The initiative was highly successful, helping to reduce waste by 400 lbs. per day! Thanks to their leadership on the issue, Kid Power students have launched similar initiatives at 3 other schools.