Intern Spotlight: Rayyane Matonding, Sofia Sosa, and Yungmin Chee

January 13, 2023

FWT interns in the farmers market, from left to right: Yungmin, Sofia, and maybe: Rayyane
From left to right: Yungmin Chee, Sofia Sosa, Rayyane Matonding

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 18, 2023, here.

As we prepare for the spring semester, we want to thank our fall 2022 Foodwise Teens interns—all University of San Francisco students—for their support of our teens, working with our new Education Manager Jasmine Chastine. Both interested in environmental issues, Rayyane Matonding worked closely with the students at John O’Connell High School, while Sofia Sosa supported at Mission High School. With a special interest in cooking, Yungmin Chee boosted the students’ kitchen skills at the Saturday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. 

“Having this group of interns for the fall program was imperative to the success of the Foodwise Teens program,” says Jasmine. “Sofia and Rayyane provided great support in the schools each week and helped ease the transition for me as the new Foodwise Teens Manager. The students were able to connect with them and really learn a lot from their individual experiences as college students.” She adds, “Yungmin was so easy to work with and really took advantage of all the amazing things the farmers market had to offer. I am happy he was able to network and grasp the magnitude of the role Foodwise plays in the food ecosystem.” Meet Rayyane, Sofia, and Yungmin.

Foodwise Teens student participant and intern Yungmin in the Foodwise Kitchen
Foodwise Teens student participant (left) with intern Yungmin (right) cooking in the Foodwise Kitchen.

Foodwise: Where does your food interest come from? 

Rayyane: As someone who is really into learning about pollution on the Earth, I remember learning about the meat industry and being shocked by the statistics on water waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and land use during high school. That is what sparked my interest in the food industry. 

Sofia: Food is an important part of both my culture and family. I learned to cook at very young age because my mother is a chef, and my grandmother also loved to cook. So I grew to love it myself and began loving learning where food comes from, as well as connecting with other cultures through cuisine, which is an ancient practice.

Yungmin: My interest for food has always been present, and I love to cook, especially now that I am a college student. Cooking has been a big part of my life because I like knowing exactly what is going into my body.

Foodwise: What do you do when you aren’t interning for Foodwise? And how is the pandemic impacting you?

Sofia: I’m a full time university student, but I am also an artist, a writer and a person who loves exploring. During the pandemic I had a lot of free time, so I got serious about some of my hobbies; began writing a novel, cooking and baking more often and spending a lot of time with my mom and dogs.

Foodwise Teen and intern Sofia holding and looking at a chicken
Foodwise Teens student participant (left) with intern Sofia (right) holding a chicken at Florence Fang Community Garden.

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

Rayyane: I chose to intern for Foodwise at this time because I thought this would be a great opportunity to be in a professional working environment while learning something new every time I show up to John O’Connell or the farmers market.

Sofia: I love Foodwise’s mission of educating as well as the connection with the community through the farmers market. I hope to build my career upon these values, and I hope to learn everything I can.

Yungmin: I thought it would be a great experience working in my field and doing something that impacts my community by helping the next generation have a connection with the food they eat and understanding where it comes from.

Foodwise: What does the farmers market community mean to you? 

Rayyane: I love the farmers market because it allows me to learn agriculture, food justice, and food consciousness in an environment where I am not stuck in a classroom or a library reading books. I get to interact with the farmers and get an insight into their practices and their beliefs. 

Sofia: As a Latina immigrant, it is extremely important for me to be able to see people in my community being a part of something as beautiful as a farmers market. It honors the hard work and a lot of ancestral knowledge that has been passed down. It is also a center of cultures with all the different sellers of different cuisines. It is incredible.

Yungmin: The farmers market is an important because of the impacts it makes on our community. All of the food is grown locally so we are helping the local farmer economy, as well as presenting sustainable non-GMO foods we can trust. 

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

Rayyane: Check out D.R.E.A.M. Donuts! I love donuts, and they have some really good donuts. Also, check out Hog Island Oyster Company. Their oysters are really good.

Sofia: Norte 54 is a definite stop I always make a beeline to. Growing up in Mexico City, our pan dulce (sweet bread) are a huge part of our culture that I’ve always loved, but not all of these recipes have gotten enough attention to be sold at any big stores. Their treats always remind me of home!

Foodwise Teens station at Sunday Supper 2022
Foodwise Teens intern Rayyane (center) and other students and staff at Foodwise Sunday Supper 2022, by Alex Akamine.

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