Morristown, N.J. (February 5, 2016) – Foods and Nutrition major Samantha Frejuste, '17, is changing the health of her community through food education. She not only teaches inner city students about healthy food options, but she also uses food science to better her family's health. Samantha is the embodiment of the College's vision: leadership in service to others.
When one of her three younger sisters was diagnosed with diabetes, Samantha started to research how food affects the body.
"Since then, I decided the holistic route was the way to go," she said. "That's when I knew I wanted to enter the foods and nutrition field."
Samantha takes what she learns in the CSE classroom and brings it back to her community by teaching young children about healthy eating while maintaining a full-time job.
As one of her final exam projects, Samantha visited a fourth-grade class in her hometown of Irvington, New Jersey, to teach the students about nutritional value. She adopted the "Go, Slow, Whoa!" guide to eating right, and tailored it to meet the students' needs.
"I was surprised that the children didn't understand the different food types and food groups," she said, "but I realized most of these children are from the inner city where they rarely have resources to healthy foods."
In one part of her lesson, Samantha illustrated the difference between good and bad foods by having the kids take food models out of a bucket and place them into "Go," "Slow," or "Whoa" containers. "Go" represented healthy foods and "Whoa" represented unhealthy. The children even participated in a group rap that helped them remember the "Go, Slow, Whoa!" foods.
"A lot of our youth are unaware of how food plays an important role in their bodies. It felt good to be able to teach these children something they didn't know."
Samantha will teach a third-grade class next, and she wants to continue educating students in other New Jersey school districts.
"CSE's Foods and Nutrition Program has given me the freedom and versatility to use what I learned in the classroom in a creative capacity; the College has given me the opportunity to grow."
After graduation, Samantha hopes to go to medical school to become a physiatrist: a physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) physician in sports medicine.