My name is Kecelaine Joseph, I am 16 years old and a student at Northeast High School. I am one of three incredible kids in my family. I have a wonderful older brother and an amazing younger sister. I started FLIPANY when I was 12 years old back when I couldn’t tell the difference between pickles and cucumbers. Through all the many fun and enrichment classes taught by FLIPANY, I learned so much about living a healthy lifestyle. My first experience with FLIPANY was when I took the Cooking Matters class with my afterschool program. I learned how to eat and cook healthy. One of the many recipes that I learned was the yogurt parfait. A great combo of sweet fruits, tasty yogurt and crunchy granola. I took everything that was cultivated in the classroom and brought it to my kitchen. FLIPANY taught me that there were so many different ways to cook and have it taste terrific.
Coming from a Haitian background we tend to use ingredients and cooking styles that aren’t always the healthiest. One of my favorite sides for example was “banana peze”, green bananas that are pressed and fried in cooking oil. I learned that a healthier alternative to frying them is baking them. With everything that I learned from the delicious food demos and informative class lessons, I started to lose weight and so did everyone else in my family. FLIPANY not only sparked a light in me when it came to eating healthier but also in exercising. I’ve attended the Mountain Bike Campat FLIPANY since I was 12 years old and actually learned how to ride my first bike with FLIPANY’s help and encouragement. An exciting experience I’ll cherish for a lifetime. I even went on to teach my younger sister how to ride. This year I went as a volunteer to learn how to be more active and help my peers.
Before FLIPANY I’d say anyone who knew me then would describe me as a lazy couch potato. I had no knowledge on anything that had to deal with health or wellness and how pertinent it was to my lifestyle. Now I play softball and I’ve played for 2 years already! I’ve grown up with FLIPANY. With them I’ve learned to be more healthy and active. To this day my heart and stomach still belongs to FLIPANY. As for my future, when I grow up I aspire to be a clinical psychologist and care for the mental health of others. I’ve always had issues with my body and a really low self-esteem. I can’t believe that at some point in my earlier years I even thought I was ugly…that I didn’t deserve what other young women had because no one would think I was beautiful… but now thanks to FLIPANY I’ve learned to love my body and feel better about myself and I hope to do the same for others. There is so much to be done in my community and I hope that I can help FLIPANY reach out to more young women so they don’t have to feel the same way I did when I was 12. Today I hope that when you hear my story, you hear a voice of determination, a voice of wanting to live a healthy life and a voice calling for action! Yes, I’m asking for YOUR HELPtoday. Today, I ask you to keep supporting FLIPANY! Go on your phone, mail FLIPANY a check, go online and DONATE NOW…every dollar counts…every dollar is helping more kids get FLIPANY in their lives!
Kecelaine Joseph, FLIPANY ALUMN