I am a 2003 Tulane graduate with a degree in International Political Economy from the Murphy Institute. My studies and experiences at Tulane taught me that the only way to create lasting change was experience-based education with youth. Since that time I have devoted all my energy to youth education including 4 years teaching in the Boston Public Schools and 6 years leading service learning projects with Windsor Mountain International.
These experiences inspired my wife and I to develop our own project and curriculum that culminated with the founding of The Cookbook Project (CBP) 501(c)(3), an experiential education non-profit focused on health nutrition and cooking skills for underserved youth. I am the Co-Founder and Education Director of CBP and our programs use food culture and nutrition experiential education workshops to empower youth to take a leadership role in their own health and the health of their community. This project was developed and piloted over the course of a 2 year volunteer/travel odyssey from 2009-2011 that focused on education issues and child health issues in Asia.
I have learned throughout a great variety of educational experiences (from teaching in the Boston Public Schools to leading international service-learning programs for high school students) that youth only truly learn and are able to implement change when engaged in experiential activities. At the moment, the vast majority of health and nutrition education is presented intellectually rather than experientially and therefore, young people have not had success making major changes in their own lives. Our project engages students in a way that empowers them to take ownership over the experience and ultimately over their own health and the health of their greater community.
We have had great success thus far leading projects in Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, India x5, New Hampshire x2, Harlem, Boston, and Haiti. We received a grant this fall to design and implement an online Local Leader Training program through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to develop a distance learning program to train educators and health care professionals to implement the curriculum we have developed into their own communities. We had over 200 applications for our Pilot Training and are training 65 leaders that are committed to implementing our curriculum into their community within 3 months of successfully completing the training. The proposals that have been pouring in are truly inspiring and we are so excited to see the exponential impact of our programs on underserved communities.
In addition to cooking skills and nutrition concepts, we focus on community building and are working to develop an aspect of the curriculum that focuses on food and community meals/cooking as an alternative to unsustainable youth activities that often result in gang activity and other choices that lead to ill health for the individual and greater community. Our main goal is to implement a global preventative health initiative for underserved youth so that they can be leaders in their community in the future and reinforce the importance of health, food culture, and community with younger generations.
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 504-865-4000 firstname.lastname@example.org