Kevin Lemonier, a senior at Miami Edison Senior High School has been working with Youth L.E.A.D. (Youth Leading Environmental Activism through Democracy) for about a year. At first, his sister's garden and all of the work intimidated Kevin, but after regularly working in it, he realized it was "a lot of fun" and "actually good for the environment."
Though he grew up with a diet that didn't include many vegetables, his mother's stroke forced the family to eat healthier.
After working with Erin Healy at Youth L.E.A.D., an organization that empowers underprivileged teens to advocate on food justice issues, he now encourages other students at his school to eat healthfully. He steers them away from the fried chicken and vending machines, because, among many other reasons, he noted that there are many people in his community with diabetes. "I try to make them more aware," he said.
The organization is only two years old and was founded by Erin Healy who realized the need in this community for food justice. Youth L.E.A.D. is hosting a fundraiser on April 15 to raise money to help raise awareness on issues of nutrition and access to healthy foods in low income neighborhoods. Empowering kids like Kevin to be healthy and spread the message of eating properly.
The cocktail reception will take place at swanky Wynwood restaurant and bar, Cafeina. Owner Ivette Naranjo recognizes the importance of the work being done, "Youth L.E.A.D. is a new organization that aims to educate the youth about the benefits of healthy eating and that's something we can't take for granted. Our society is consumed by overindulgence, obviously, given the notoriously high rate of childhood obesity."
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According to the organization's founder and CEO, "Youth L.E.A.D. not only connects the community to the burgeoning network of local food resources, but it also trains youth to advocate for their rights and take over these systems, thereby creating jobs, equitable communities, and program sustainability."
Cafeina, in conjunction with SuperMarket Creative, encourages people to come out, have fun, and support the good cause. "Guests will enjoy complimentary cocktails, music by DJs Ess & Emm, and will also be encouraged to give donations to the program." One hundred percent of profits will benefit Youth L.E.A.D.
Cafeina is located at 297 NW 23 Street, Miami and the cocktail reception takes place form 9 to 10 p.m. with a suggested minimum donation of $20.