When youth teach youth, they become potential agents of change.
This summer, The Sylvia Center’s Teen Culinary Apprenticeship teens taught over 700 youths at summer camps throughout New York City. “My favorite memory from this class was practicing how to teach the kids in the summer how to cook. Everyone was happy that day. We were not just cooking but putting our happiness to the food with our cultural influences and backgrounds,” says Kayla, a 2022 graduate of the program. When provided the skills needed to take ownership of their food choices, teens advocate for themselves and others. The opportunity to teach enhances skills such as public speaking, teamwork, and time management. Teens become positive change makers when they teach youth in their communities about healthy foods.
Two-thirds of U.S. youth ages 2-19 still consume at least one sugary beverage a day. We educate youth on the connection between food and health to curb the high rates of diet-related diseases caused by unhealthy food choices. Developing healthy eating habits early in life can result in long-term benefits for nutritional wellness and comfortability in the kitchen builds skills around self-efficacy.
Upon completion of The Sylvia Center’s programs, 65% of teen students reported that they eat fruits and vegetables more than 3 times per week and 62% of teen students reported a higher level of confidence planning a nutritious meal. By teaching youth how to cook for themselves and teach others, TSC fosters youth-led change for generational wellness.
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