17-year-old Appetite for Change participant, LaTaijah, shares her story:
Appetite for Change (AFC) has had a big impact on my life. I was the teen who would hit the convenience store before and after school. I was known at school as the girl with the snacks. I spent most of my time at my grandma’s house and most of my money at the convenience store because that is the way I grew up. When I got fully engaged with AFC, I learned the value of healthy eating. I stopped going to the store and started to go straight to the refrigerator to get fruits and vegetables.
My peers asked, “What happened to the snack girl?” I told them I had an appetite for change!
AFC staff were the first to get me to eat fresh okra after I tended it in the garden…and I fell in love! Not only did staff help change my eating habits, but they helped me realize I have a powerful voice. I started using it to get what I want out of life. I became one of the youth leaders at AFC. I took AFC leadership training to build my skills. I took the AFC skills and applied it to my community and I got involved in Black Lives Matter. AFC also helped me improve my life through employment. My mom recently bought a house, and with some of my paycheck, I can help pay bills and buy things we need for the house.
Appetite for Change has helped me to think more about what I want to do in life, and they support me along the way and make sure I have everything I need to be successful.