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Ward 8 Resident Shares Her WANDA Fellowship Experience

by Katie Rosales, 2021 WANDA Fellow

The Women Advancing Nutrition Dietetics and Agriculture (WANDA) fellowship was launched by WANDA and Good Food Markets in the summer of 2021. The purpose of the fellowship is to fund, mentor and provide community nutrition/wellness field experience to a new generation of food sheroes. They accepted the challenge to tackle the low supply of dietitians and nutritionist of African descent specifically in the Ward 8 community.

My name is Katie Rosales, and I was awarded the inaugural 2021 WANDA Fellowship in

partnership with Good Food Markets and Oasis Community Partners. I am a native

Washingtonian residing in communities that WANDA works to serve. I am a recent graduate

from the University of the District of Columbia, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics.

This summer I was able to spend 12 weeks completing an externship at Good Food Markets

located in Ward 5 and 8. Additionally, I was able to receive mentorship via WANDA’s LeadHer program. Here is my best advice for the next WANDA fellow to prepare, complete, and succeed at the fellowship.

Tips to prepare for the Fellowship:

1. Gain as much experience as possible. Come into the fellowship with as much

experience as possible. Make sure to take your practicums and volunteer experience

serious. Try to gain experience in wellness/nutrition education, public health, or

community engagement. All these experiences will assist you in this fellowship.

2. Have a passion and goal. Know what drives you to do the work you do. Make sure to

know your “why?” There will be difficult and long days ahead. However, passion makes

those days very worth it. A specific passion needed for this fellowship is in health equity,

health education, and public health. Come in with goals for yourself and the fellowship.

Goals are important because they motivate us to keep going and allow us to measure

where we have left to go.

Tips for during the fellowship:

3. Ask questions. Come into the fellowship with questions. Always want to know more.

From how non-profits run to grant writing, these questions can be answered.

Remember there are no dumb questions, only the ones not asked. Whenever

completing any tasks and you need clarity, ask questions! Everyone involved in this

fellowship is here to help you succeed.

4. Have fun! This fellowship will be a lot of work but make sure to have fun! Luckily there

is always something fun to do. That can include helping to create new recipes to filming

them for social media to participating in various community wellness programming (like

cooking or yoga in the park!). Enjoy as many moments as possible because 12 weeks go

real fast.

Tips for after you complete your Fellowship:

5. Follow up with all connections made. Throughout the fellowship you will network with

various community members. Make sure to make a great impression on everyone you

meet! Networking is essential and allows for great opportunities. My best advice is to

always to show up as your best self.

6. Continue to be the food shero your community needs. This fellowship is designed to be

a part of your food shero journey. Take what you learn from this experience and

continue to build on it. Whether that is applying for DICAS to become a Registered

Dietitian or serving your community. Walk into your greatness and continue to build up

our community.

After I concluded my fellowship with WANDA, I accepted a position with the Latin American

Youth Center (LAYC) as a Food & Nutrition Specialist. I believe with the skills and experience I gained in 3 months with WANDA fellowship allowed me to earn this position. Many of the skills and tasks I completed during my time with Oasis Community Partners and Good Food Markets has been transferrable to my current role at LAYC. My biggest takeaway from this fellowship is to remain positive, hardworking, and passionate as these will always be needed whatever the adventure is.

Thank you to WANDA for providing me with this great fellowship experience. This experience allowed me to grow so much not only as a person but also a food shero! Thank you to Good Food Markets and Oasis Community Partners for allowing me a great externship. Special shout out to the Community Health Manager, Hannah Chichester for allowing me to shadow her wherever I was interested.

Good luck to all future food sheroes!

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