Last Friday, I experienced one of the single most impactful days of my life volunteering at public school 21 in Brooklyn, New York for the 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD). NYSD is a global event focused on youth-led interactive science experiments. The annual event reaches thousands of youth across the country, with hands-on design projects in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This year's theme was Drone Discovery! This engineering design challenge was created by Cornell University Cooperative Extension and taught students how drones are being used to solve real world problems.
The event started with students gathering in the elementary school's cafeteria. Students were welcomed by New York City 4-H Leader, Lucinda Randolph-Benjamin, then led in the 4-H pledge by your's truly. To my surprise, I could recite the pledge with as much fluency as I did in my 4-H club in high school. The students were then led in a mini lesson on drones and things that fly by 4-H Youth Development Educator, Charles "Chip" Malone (photo below). Chip demonstrated the four forces of flight using a foam drone: lift, gravity, thrust, and drag. Chip used interactive dance moves to further explain how these four forces work in real life. Students were rallied up and led into the gymnasium for a full day of engineering and fun!
I managed the station, Drone Discovery: Things That Fly. At this station, students were taught what drones actually are, what they do, and how they are used in our world. Students also learned the basics of flight dynamics and motion, then they got to apply it. I led students in building two types of aircrafts and wing types: rotary wing propcopters, made from two plastic pieces, and fixed wing gliders, made from styrofoam plates. The best moment for me was when the students actually got to fly the planes and test how far they could go before falling from the sky. The students were encouraged to think as engineers and keep their planes in the air longer with better control.
One of the greatest joys I have is serving as a trustee for the National 4-H Council. As a trustee, I get so excited when I meet youth whose lives are being positively impacted by the work of 4-H. I am so fortunate for my 4-H experience and it is my desire to see more kids have 4-H in their lives, just like the students in Brooklyn.
Giving back causes my perspective on life to be fuller. I feel so blessed to have met these students in Brooklyn, and hopefully inspire them to one day become scientist, engineers, or even chefs! No matter what they do, I know they will be successful because of 4-H. Learn more about 4-H today.
Friends, get ready for my new YouTube series titled, Soul Food Talks. This long anticipated series is finally happening and I could not be more proud!
I'm meeting up with my great friends and fellow creators in New York to chat all things food, life, and upcoming projects. The series features guests including author and celebrity chef, Dan Churchill; singer, songwriter and musician, Aaron Marcellus; singer and songwriter, Tréi Stella; and, power couple extraordinaire and artists, Raii & Whitney. Each conversation is accompanied by a dish that screams "soul food" inspired by my guests favorite ingredients, dishes, and memories about food.
Soul Food Talks was inspired by my love and appreciation for the arts. Period. As a child, my idea of a happy life was to make art. As an adult, it's amazing to me how me and so many others have managed to turn this idea of creating things into successful careers. I say that with all humility, too. So I wanted to share the stories of creators doing amazing work to hopefully inspire others that dreams are possible to achieve while also providing entertaining content for viewers.
I was also inspired by the amazing, Questlove, and his book, somethingtofoodabout. In the book, Questlove interviews ten renowned chefs in America, unfolding the person behind the food. It fascinated me how relatable each of these chefs were yet how different were. I was inspired to bring together my friends and fellow creators over home cooked 'soul food' (however that might be defined) and share inspiring stories. To my surprise, it was quite easy to get my guests talking once they saw the food.
I am so excited to work with an amazing team of family, friends, producers, cinematographers, photographers, designers, and editors to bring this project to life. Stay tuned for more ahead. In the meantime, SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel and check out each of my friend's amazing work.
Peace & Love,