Valentin Mendoza (pictured below, far right) writes about his experience as a youth organizer on the Castlemont high school campus. His team worked to change the lunch menu to include some tasty, healthy food from local vendors. – Katy
Hi, I’m Valentin Mendoza.
I’ve worked with Youth Together since 2006, as a freshmen. I have become a Lead Student Organizer (L.S.O) as an agitator and alliance builder. We’ve been working on our food justice campaign for three years now.
Our work has consisted of doing workshops in classrooms, outreach during lunch, school board meetings and meetings with the district. We collected data, through a petition, to educate our fellow students on the effects of unhealthy food and the positive impact that healthy food can have on our communities and also to get information from them on what they would like to see on the menu.
A big part of the work was also to push the district to support the local economy by partnering with local businesses instead of a big monopoly corporation like SYSCO.
All of this to help us obtain our goal of better and healthier food and bettering our community. Finally, we did! WE WON! And Friday, the 11th of January, marked the grand opening of the new remodeled cafeteria and healthier choices on the menu.
P.S. We, as students and community members, need to continue holding our decision-makers accountable. We still have to push to help our communities, as opposed to corporate America.
photo courtesy of Youth Together