By: D’Havian Scott
This week I am excited to share the experience of the “No Kid Hungry Youth Ambassadors.” Hannah Pfannenstein is a rising senior at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University, where she is majoring in Elementary Education, and Khalid Gohe is a Sophmore at the University of North Dakota and is majoring in software engineering. They have spent their summer serving as a youth ambassador through the No Kid Hungry Youth Ambassador Program while partnering with the Yes Network to help prepare and serve meals for people in the community, providing meals to families who need it.
The No Kid Hungry Youth Ambassador Program is a campaign of the Share Our Strength Foundation, whose goal is to end childhood hunger and poverty. Founded by Billy Shore, who established Share our Strength in 1984. In previous years, the Youth Ambassadors from across the country met in Washington, D.C. for several days of training — which included creating publicity and blogging to increase awareness of childhood hunger and ways to get involved in ending hunger in one’s community. Unfortunately, the training was canceled due to the pandemic. Be that as it may, the program has adjusted and was able to continue this summer.
Hannah and Khalid have been working with the Yes Network since last summer, and through the Executive Director, Jerry Sparby was connected to the No Kid Hungry program. Hannah and Khalid’s role as a Youth Ambassador is to serve with the Yes Network and highlight the issue of child hunger and bring awareness to the problem. They serve on the leadership team at Yes. Hannah helps run one of the kitchens that prepare meals, and Khalid helps neighborhood teams. Hannah also re-coordinated the Bel Clare community site and came up with a better food delivery system and served as a mentor for some of the high school students in the communities she serves in.
When asked what advice she would give to those considering working with Yes or No Kid Hungry, Hannah stressed, “Just do it! I’m just so passionate about it, and I want to talk about all the goodness. Personally, I kind of feel like I lived in a bubble. I knew about issues and things, but The Yes Network has opened my eyes, and being an educator, it’s super important to see all aspects. And the lives that the kiddos could come from. That’s where true happiness will come from, serving others, and making the world a better place.” Khalid shared, “The Yes Network has helped me personally because I work for my own community; that’s how I benefit working as a youth ambassador.”