Academics

The Lunch Crisis Organization

An interview with Keertana Talla ’19
What is your Genius project?
For my Genius project, I’m working on a few different initiatives that all connect to a group I started over the summer: The Lunch Crisis Organization. Once a month I go to an assemblywoman’s office, as a part of my internship, where I’m currently working on a bill to end lunch shaming and bring change to the lunch system in New Jersey public schools. Behind the scenes, there’s a massive amount of research that goes into co-authoring a bill. Along with the bill, I’m working on developing a website to help expand this organization.

Why did you decide to make this your Genius project?
Over the summer, I didn’t know how important this would soon become to me. When I was considering what I wanted to do for my Genius project this year, I realized that this would be a great use of the block because not only am I passionate about it, but I’m also learning a lot about myself, politics, and social service in the process.
 
How has this enhanced your interest in politics?
This project has helped me understand the true power of politics and how you can use your voice to actually make a difference. I had the opportunity to bring an issue that was close to my heart to light, and, I hope to make a change on a massive scale.
 
What leadership skills have you gained from this experience?
This experience has given me an opportunity to take action, manage my time, and be organized while navigating my way through this project on my own.
 
What has been the most rewarding part?
The most rewarding part has been seeing change unfold in front of my eyes. Whether it be seeing the families who have benefited from the lunch debts I’ve been able to erase or the progress of creating a permanent change in the New Jersey lunch system, I’ve been able to take ideas and ambitions from my mind and execute them during Genius Block.
 
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Kent Place School is an all-girls K through 12 independent college preparatory day school with a coeducational Preschool, located in Summit, NJ.