A testimonial from Anish (Far right in both photos):
"When I first participated in the Atlanta Community Food Bank Youth Leadership Summit in 2010, I enjoyed packaging food for families in the Product Rescue Center and beautifying the Community Gardens. Little did I know, however, that the lessons I learned here would shape the way in which I viewed service in my future service endeavors.
One of the most important things I learned is the role education plays in service. During the summit, I was part of a hunger simulation, where all of the participants role-played as community members struggling to support our fictional families. My eyes opened to the social stratification all around us, and I realized one needs to better understand a community to advocate for its needs.
With this in mind, I was excited to be selected as Volunteer UGA’s Education Director. In the same Food Bank spirit of promoting advocacy, I organized a weekend leadership retreat for students from 35 student service organizations, bringing in non-profit leaders from the Athens area to speak about how they achieved success in their organizations and promoting thoughtful discussion of how we can best address the needs of the local community. Other initiatives I have been a part of at UGA include leading a spring break service trip as an IMPACT site leader to Bluefield, WV to raise ageism awareness and volunteering in a MEDLIFE mobile clinic in Ecuador to develop local infrastructure and improve healthcare quality.
Returning to the Food Bank Reunion this past June, I was strongly reminded of all the reasons why I love serving others. When I attend medical school at UT Southwestern this fall, I will never forget the lessons about compassion and dedication to service that I learned through the Atlanta Community Food Bank and hope to carry them with me always."
Quotes from some other Youth Summit participants:
"It was a place to be completely out of your comfort zone and a place to make a positive impact in local communities. It was the highlight of my summer, and it will be for anybody who signs up next year." — Demetriyana
"Something that really stuck out to me was the fact that eating healthy is sometimes difficult on a small budget. I am fortunate to have access to healthy options daily, but many people in my community are not." — Sarah
"Seeing how the the Food Bank works was really enlightening and I was so surprised to see that people in my community were in such need." — Neha
Do you know a metro area high school student who’s looking for a meaningful experience this summer? Make sure you tell them about the 10th annual Youth Summit, happening July 11-15! All applications are due April 15th. Applications are available online today!