Intern Spotlight: Claire Beckstoffer

November 18, 2023

Foodwise relies on volunteers and interns to help with education programs, and other activities that help fulfill our mission to grow thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn more about internships here and volunteer opportunities here. You can also sign up for our next volunteer orientation on January 10, 2024, here.

The fall semester is coming to a close for Foodwise Teens, who benefitted from intern Claire Beckstoffer, a UC Berkeley grad who studied environmental engineering science and wanted experience teaching teens, sharing her interests and experience in sustainable agriculture. With a passion for soils, climate change, and building sustainable food systems, she drew from her lab and field research around the world, relating to tropical forests and land use, soil nutrients, and mycorrhizal fungi.

“Claire has been a great addition to the Foodwise Teens program this semester,” says Foodwise Teens Manager Jasmine Chastine. “Her expertise in soil health allowed us to implement some great lessons and experiments in the classroom. It’s rewarding to know that young people are committed to saving our planet. It truly is a gift to work alongside someone who is putting her commitment into action.” Meet Claire.

Foodwise: Where does your food interest come from? 

Claire: I love to cook! I have been vegetarian throughout my whole life (and am now an aspiring vegan). Sometimes making food without meat or dairy is challenging, but that’s part of the fun for me– I get lot of joy out of finding creative and flavorful recipes to try. I really like to experiment with new flavors and learn about food from other cultures.

Foodwise: What do you do when you aren’t interning for Foodwise?

Claire: In the future, I am hoping to pursue a career in soil science and sustainable agriculture, so I am currently busy applying to grad school and finishing up a research paper. For fun, I love to hike, cook, surf, and crochet.

Foodwise: Why did you choose to intern with us at this time? 

Claire: I’m hoping to gain new skills in lesson design, teaching, and classroom management, which I hope to apply to my work as a teaching assistant in grad school. I also think it’s really important to introduce high school students to topics in food and gardening, helping expose them to new career paths or creative, nourishing hobbies, and I’m happy to participate in that effort. 

Foodwise: What has been most rewarding about your experience with Foodwise?

Claire: The most rewarding part of my internship with Foodwise has been connecting with the students. I have really enjoyed sharing meals and playing trivia games with the teens and getting to know who they are as individuals.

Foodwise: What does Foodwise mean to you? 

Claire: Foodwise is an amazing program that helps kids and teens understand where their food comes from. In the Foodwise Teens program in particular, students learn valuable lessons about how to grow and cook food, how to eliminate waste, and how to connect to vendors and growers local to the Bay Area. 

Foodwise: Any favorite farmers market foods or home meal prep tips you want to share? 

Claire: I love the hummus and the artichoke dip at the Roti stand at the farmers market on Saturdays. They hand out lots of free samples, so check it out!

Topics: , , ,