HARRIS' HEROES

Harris' Heroes: 'Brainfood' program teaches leadership skills, builds confidence

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(WJLA) - Children with “D.C. Scores” are learning how to make baked chicken enchiladas from second-year “Brainfood” students, who are called the “MVPs.”

The kids learn quickly, and really seem to enjoy it:

"We had to measure the recipes and put in the bowl and combine it and mix it,” describes 10-year-old Julian Vera.

"It was fun the way they taught us,” adds 10-year-old Nelson Briones.

The MVPs regularly teach cooking to local kids, but they have also taught adults from different countries.

"It's fun because you get to meet new people at brainfood,” says 16-year-old MPV Taylor Thomas.

"Even though they might not speak the same language as us, we still have a connection in the kitchen,” adds 17-year-old Stanley Haines.

According to Executive Director of the program, Paul Dahm:

"We're trying to create opportunities for our young people to engage and lead in the community...they're not seen as leaders very often, and we want to make sure they leave here understanding that they have value to offer."

The MVPs say the skills learned here build up their confidence and sense of leadership:

"We can see the direct impact and change we have with community in teaching how to eat healthy and what healthy meals are," says 17-year-old Zawadi Carroll.

And after sharing their creation together, both groups head home feeling accomplished – and quite full.

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