Project Exploration is proud to highlight the work of STEM Professional Olivia Gomez! Olivia taught nutrition to the girls in the Sisters4Science program last fall. She was kind enough to sit down with Program Coordinator Kiara Bird to answer some questions about her time with Project Exploration.
- Thinking back to when you started working with Project Exploration, what inspired you to be involved with our students?
My passion is sharing my nutrition knowledge with people. When I got the opportunity to share with kids, I was excited to be able to reach people at an early age and hope to make their lives better!
- What do you hope to gain from your work with Project Exploration?
I hope to be able to reach the kids with my knowledge and have them apply just one simple change in their diet that will make a huge impact in their health.
- Is there a memorable student, activity, or interaction that stands out in your mind?
- What activity did you facilitate and what was the impact to you?
My favorite activity to do with the kids is the taste testing of the different nut and seed milks. To explain to them that humans are not designed to drink cow’s milk and see their expression is priceless.
2. What has been your favorite activity that you have done with students and why?
There was one boy in the Englewood school who would constantly challenge me. I enjoyed it because I knew he was listening. When I encountered him outside of the school, his demeanor changed and he became a street kid in front of his friends. I realized in that moment that I could be a bigger impact in these kids’ lives than just nutrition.
- What have you learned from working with PE youth?
Patience! Teaching a group of kids about nutrition while they are excited to try new and different foods is always a fun exercise!
- How do you enjoy spending your time outside of Project Exploration?
Reading. Dancing. Movies and spending time with my kids.
- What’s next for you?
I want to share my knowledge with large group of people of all ages.
- In preparing for PE programs, what skills have you gained that you feel are most valuable?
Kids are so honest and blunt! I have learned to be quick on my words with them because they will challenge you and ask the wildest questions imaginable! They are preparing me to confidently answer any question asked by any adult.
- Did you ever imagine yourself being so involved with a nonprofit that advocates STEM education like Project Exploration?
No. I am so grateful for the experiences that Project Exploration offers these kids. These are the moments they will remember.
Interview conducted by: Kiara Bird