By Jeanette Yue
Most people have heard the phrase, “You are what you eat,” but Hải Võ, Oceana’s new HomeSlice Youth Program Coordinator, believes that food is much more than that.
“I believe that food is interconnected with many different issues, including immigration, health, and our civil rights. I want food and health to be relevant in our lives,” He articulated.
Hải’s passion for food injustice stemmed about four years ago during his college years at UC Irvine. Just this March, he started as the Youth Coordinator, but he has known about Pie Ranch for years.
“This experience is honestly closer to my dream. I’m really passionate about food, health, justice, and our future generations a lot,” He expressed.
In his opinion, “there’s not a stark contrast between ‘edible foods’ and “native plants,’” which is why it’s so important that Oceana has a garden that enables students to learn more about all these things in a safe environment.
Since being here, Hải’s plans to help Oceana students have grown a lot. “I’m really hoping to integrate what students learn in the classroom and what’s happening in real life with the garden and the food system,” He explained.
So far, Hai is helping with the Garden Advisory, Food & Nutrition class, and the afterschool program at the garden. In addition to his role at Oceana, he also works with the Pie Ranch HomeSlice internship.
This seven-week internship is spent at both Pie Ranch and on the Oceana campus. During the internship, students will have the opportunity to farm, cook, eat, and learn more about food injustice. This internship, including work with the garden, helps students develop more than just farming and food knowledge though.
“At the core, this internship helps students understand and practice respect, humility, creativity, and commitment to change,” Hải stated.
Not only is the internship a great opportunity, it’s a chance to try something most people don’t get to do. If you’re interested in the HomeSlice internship, you can see Ms. Hughes or Hải for more information.