The Teen Board of Directors was established in 2018 with the purpose of providing teen volunteers the opportunity to have a voice within the kitchen program. Members of the Teen Board meets monthly to plan fundraisers and discuss ways to improve the volunteering experience of all individuals. The Teen Board also sends representatives to the Food for Health board meetings to give feedback from a kitchen volunteer perspective. In the past few years they have brought music into the kitchen and replaced old equipment. In 2019, they led an apparel fundraiser that brought in nearly a thousand dollars with all proceeds going back into the program.
Why have a Teen Board of Directors?
The Fox Valley Food for Health Teen Board provides a vehicle for our Teen Chefs to influence the strategic direction of the organization, establish a direct line of communication to the Executive Director & Board of Directors as well as provide a leadership development opportunity. By engaging our Teen Chefs in leadership positions of the organization, we allow new energy and ideas to enhance our mission-focused programs, while developing future leaders in our community.
Food for Health High School Showdown
The Food for Health High School Showdown is a Teen Board of Directors led event that will raise funds for our organization and provide high school students with a safe, fun, and interactive event in this trying year. The event will start in March and run through May 1st. It will be a friendly fundraising competition between local high schools to race against each other for a trophy and additional prizes. Members of each school will be encouraged to raise funds by finding family, friends and community members to sponsor their running, walking, etc.
School will be competing for the Food for Health Cup, which will be displayed proudly at the winning school until the next annual competition. There will also be individual awards for students who are top contributors for their school, including treats made in our very own kitchen and gift cards from our sponsors. In addition, at the request of the Teen Board and to show his commitment to our efforts (as well as to have his skin in the game, no pun intended), The Executive Director, Zac Cesario, will get a tattoo of the winning school’s logo provided they raise a minimum of $5,000.
Our 2020 - 2021 Teen Board of Directors
Paranshu Shah - President
Paranshu is a Senior at St. Charles North High School and the President of the Teen Board at Fox Valley Food for Health. He joined the kitchen in early 2018 and has loved working both in the kitchen and garden at Food for Health as well as getting more involved through fundraising on the Teen Board! Paranshu has earned his chef’s coat through culinary and leadership skills presented in the kitchen as well. He is a member of the Varsity Water Polo team at SCN and seeks to go into the medical field after graduating from Saint Charles North. In his spare time, Paranshu enjoys playing football and basketball, and his favorite food from FVFFH is the zucchini lasagna.
Noah Smith - Vice President
Noah Smith is a Senior at St. Charles North High School. He has been involved in the garden and kitchen programs for nearly two years and became a member of the Teen Board last fall. He has earned his chef coat through leadership and dedication in the kitchen. Noah loves that Food for Health provides teens with the opportunity to become passionate about nutrition while helping members of their community. Outside of volunteering for Food for Health, he is a member of the Swim and Water Polo programs and active in clubs and honor societies within St. Charles North.
Jack is a Senior at Saint Charles North High School. Jack joined FVFFH about 2 years ago. Recently, he has earned his chef’s coat through demonstrating leadership within the kitchen. At Saint Charles North, Jack is apart of the men’s lacrosse team as well Science and Regular National Honor Society.. Next year, Jack will be attending Augustana College in Rock Island, IL to study pre-medicine and play lacrosse. His favorite recipe at FVFFH is the stuffed peppers!
Leah is a senior at Batavia High School where she is a part of ecology club, Best Buddies mentorship program, as well as National Honor Society and National Science Honor Society. She also competes for both her varsity and travel softball teams throughout the year. She first joined Fox Valley Food for Health in 2018. Leah believes this organization is a great way to give back to the community as well as learning about nutrition and meeting new people. Her favorite recipe to make in the kitchen is veggie lasagna. Leah plans on majoring in environmental studies with a tract of policy and management.
Paige is a senior at St. Charles North High School. As a varsity dance team member, Paige was introduced to Fox Valley Food for Health when she was paired with Executive Director, Zac Cesario, at the annual Kick-A-Thon fundraiser in 2018. Paige started volunteering in the kitchen in spring of 2019 and has earned her chef’s coat through culinary and leadership skills presented in the kitchen as well. Paige’s favorite Fox Valley Food for Health recipe is the primavera pesto pasta. Outside of the kitchen, Paige extends her life long love for dance as an assistant coach for a local dance team. Also, she is a member of the English National Honors Society and has earned Academic All Conference two times. After graduating from St. Charles North High School, Paige plans to pursue a degree in nursing and a career as a labor and delivery nurse.
Sarah Brunson is a senior at St. Charles East High School where she serves as her class secretary. She has worked in the kitchen for a year now and became a part of the board this fall. Sarah joined the board because she is passionate about community wellness and plans to pursue public health after graduation. In her free time, she can be seen spending time with her parents, brother, and two dogs or adventuring with her friends.
Molly Bronec is a senior at Saint Charles East. She has been volunteering at FVFFH for four years. She also works at Moveable Feast in Geneva and is planning on studying Food Science and Sustainable Food Systems at Johnson-Wales University. Her favorite memory with FVFFH was making the cookbook and being able to make the recipes anytime.
Apply for our 2021 - 2022 Teen Board of Directors
Applications are open! We have modified our application to better prepare the incoming Teen Board of Directors. Applications will now be accepted until March 30th and the selection process will being in April. Once selected, the incoming Teen Board will shadow the outgoing Teen Board for 2 months, and actively meet over the summer months.
Who are we looking for?
- FVFFH Teen Board Members should:
- Have participated in our Teen Chef program for at least 12 weeks.
- Be actively working in the kitchen for majority of their term.
- Be passionate and dedicated to our mission and vision.
- Believes that proper nutrition supports overall wellness in our community and healing to those with a health crisis.
- Be comfortable communicating on behalf of the other Teen Chefs to the ED & Board of Directors.
What does a Teen Board Member do?
- Commit to at least 1 term (1 year starting in April 2021 – June 2022)
- Act as a liaison between the teens in FVFFH programs and the ED and Board of Directors.
- Work alongside the other Teen Board members to enhance and improve FVFFH operations and support a welcoming and fun atmosphere.
- Commit to attending 1 Teen Board Meeting each month (or every other month) and attend 1-2 board meetings every term.
- Plan and lead a Teen Board Fundraising event each year.
- Assist during at least 1 community outreach or fundraising event each term
- Commit at least 20 volunteer hours per year, additional to regular kitchen/garden volunteering shifts.
Teen Board Expectations
- Be a teen leader and role model within FVFFH programs
- Be accepting and welcoming of all new teen and adult volunteers
- Respect all volunteers, staff and board members
- Be open to hearing feedback from other teens in the programs and communicate them accordingly
- Have an open mind to other teen volunteer & Teen Board Members ideas
- Be comfortable sharing your opinion
- Be timely and attentive at Teen Board Meetings
- If you cannot attend a meeting, you must contact the Teen Board Staff Liaison 24 hours in advance
- Be responsive and follow communication guidelines including:
- Responding to emails (or other decided upon communication format) within 48 hours of receiving the message
- Communicate directly with the Teen Board Staff Liaison
- Communicate respectfully and honestly
- Be good stewards of FVFFH in the community and in your life including at school, on social media and in your day to day activities