CSUN Student Wins Prestigious Fellowship at Clinton Global Initiative

Frida Herrera

Resolution Fellow Frida Herrera poses near Sequoia Hall where the Marilyn Magaram Center Wellness Garden will be developed in collaboration with the Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing. Photo by David J. Hawkins.

California State University, Northridge student Frida Herrera is on a mission to teach children in Canoga Park that food comes from the ground and not from the grocery store.

Herrera, a nutrition and dietetics major, founded Let’s Grow Healthy, a community gardening initiative designed to decrease childhood obesity and promote healthy eating habits among children in Canoga Park by teaching hands-on, interactive gardening classes. Because of the uniqueness of her project, her clear goals and enthusiasm, Herrera was selected by The Resolution Project as a Resolution Fellow and awarded a $5,000 grant.

“We want to teach kids where their food comes from and why it’s so important to eat fresh produce,” Herrera said. “This is pretty inspiring and exciting.”

Based on her work through the Marilyn Magaram Center for Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics, Herrera’s project expands on an existing partnership with CSUN’s Institute of Community Health and Wellbeing in Canoga Park. Her initiative plans to develop at least five gardens at schools in Canoga Park, and potentially a community garden, within a 15-month period. CSUN and its partners have targeted the Canoga Park area because research shows that low-income communities struggle with high rates of childhood obesity and a lack of access to nutritious and healthy food, commonly known as “food deserts.”

Herrera was one of 12 CSUN students in the university’s first cohort at the Clinton Global Initiative University, April 1-3 at the University of California, Berkeley. She was the only CSUN student picked to participate in the Project Resolution Social Venture Challenge.

Following extensive poster and PowerPoint presentations, Herrera’s project was selected from a field of 133 proposals.

“We’re so proud of Frida,” said Spanish and linguistics professor Kenneth Luna, who is CSUN’s campus mentor for the initiative. “This was such an incredible and once-in-a-lifetime experience for all the students.”

The Clinton Global Initiative was established in 2005 by President Clinton. It convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. The Clinton Global Initiative University was launched in 2007 as a way of engaging the next generation of leaders on college campuses around the world.

The Resolution Project, which partners with the initiative, was founded in 2007 by a group of young professionals who had attended youth leadership summits as university students and had been frustrated with being labeled the “leaders of tomorrow.” Resolution founders believe that university students have the energy, idealism and will to solve some of the world’s most persistent and challenging problems, and should be leading today.

Today, there are more than 280 Resolution Fellows on six continents working on ventures addressing issues ranging from basic needs, food, development, education, energy and the environment, health and wellness, equality and empowerment and humanitarian relief.

For more information about The Resolution Project winners.


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