At Friends of the Children – Portland (FriendsPDX), we believe that authentic connection and relationship building is a firm foundation for building a community of love. Even greater is when youth see how they can directly build each other up and are enabled to put action into vision.
Karim, a 2022 program senior, wanted to plan service-focused activities for the community and decided to host a cooking experience with his fellow youth. Karim selected meals he knew would be fairly easy to make, so participants wouldn’t feel intimidated to try cooking them on their own later, and delicious! He planned four dishes to demo in the Rockwood kitchen and created recipe cards for each to share with youth. A memorable time of friendship and teamwork are the main ingredients!
Connection and relationship building between the older youth and younger youth allow for an additional layer of mentorship too. The masterpiece mac n’ cheese, amazing alfredo with chicken, and super spaghetti with meatballs have all been big hits. Everyone had hands-on experience in the kitchen, plus the youth have formed new friendships while celebrating existing friendships — all while sharing a tasty meal together.
The cooking events have proven popular with the workshops filled to capacity each week and pre-registration for the next Cooking with Karim sessions are completely booked! These opportunities to gather in community, to love and see each other, to be present with each other, reflects the heart of our FriendsPDX community. Thank you, Karim, for being you!
*names of youth and mentor have been changed for privacy and photos are not of those mentioned in story