Olivia Cason is beginning her sophomore year at St. Edward’s University and completed a summer internship with SFC as part of a partnership between St. Edward’s and H-E-B. In an earlier blog, Olivia explained why she chose to support SFC. Here she looks back on what she’ll take away from her experience.
As a teaching leader for the field trips, I led children ages 6-15 years through garden activities such scavenger hunts, planting flowers, and harvesting peppers and cucumbers. In the Happy Kitchen, I led students in an interactive cooking class where they helped with making a delicious and healthy snack—cucumber yogurt dip with homemade pita chips. The day would end with a discussion and game over food security. The objective being that students understand where most food comes from and also have an idea about the process their food goes through before it reaches their plates.
Because of my experience, I have become a better gardener and feel confident to begin my own garden. I am more aware of what I eat and try to buy organic whenever possible. I have become more resourceful with my produce, developing new recipes out of leftovers and converting waste into compost. I fully support the SFC philosophy and encourage my friends and family to aim for a sustainable lifestyle starting with their food. The organization promotes values that go beyond just eating healthy. They are creating resourceful people who are food secure and informed about how to grow and use their food in a variety of circumstances, myself being one of them.
In regards to future aspirations, SFC has given me skills to teach others about the importance of farming, a skill I plan to take with me to AmeriCorps post-graduation. Since my position was also about communicating on a child’s level, I will be able to work with adults and children who are food insecure. Moreover, given the experience of working with all organic food—free from pesticides and fillers, I may advocate for more restrictions for food production and labels as an environmental lobbyist, or I could work as an environmental scientist who does field work on farms, and other lands of interest to test the soil, water, and air quality; all things that can be affected by industrial farming. Wherever my career takes me I will always be an advocate for sustainability. SFC has been a wonderful experience and encouragement in my field of interest.