by Kaylen Chong, SOYL Suwa’lkh Mentor

This is my second year participating in the SOYL program and I have found it more fun than the first time. It was partly because last year we didn’t get the opportunity to cook or go on any field trips, but I thought the activities planned were entertaining.

I had an absolute blast playing games, learning about leadership & food systems through informative and interactive workshops, native vs. invasive plant species, and getting to know everyone in the group. My favourite part of SOYL is being able to acquire practical kitchen skills through cooking together with my team for Community Eats.

I also enjoy harvesting a variety of different kinds of vegetables (like pink cauliflower & kohlrabi) and selling produce on market days. I have certainly stepped out of my comfort zone to share my thoughts and ideas more often in discussions, interacting with customers at the market, and trying new things. I really like being there to teach and support my fellow crew members using my previous knowledge as well. I have become a more confident person overall.

I am so grateful that I got the chance to take part in such an inclusive and fun program as it was a memorable experience that I will remember for years to come.

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