To Be Known and Seen: Get to Know Team Homegrown!


What daily rituals have you developed that define a normal day? Is it the barista who knows what drink to make you as soon as they see you walk through the door? Or maybe it’s the phone call you know you will receive from your sister at 6:30pm California time as she rides the bus home from work. Or the salute you share with your security guard when you enter your office building each morning. Our days are composed of a variety of intersecting structures and moments that we come to count on to support our needs as social beings with a place and value in our different workplaces/schools/families/communities. At Brainfood, the opening and closing activity that starts and ends every class is the structure that satisfies a basic human need, as researcher Brené Brown describes, the need to “show up and be seen.”


We always start class with an opening question, and in the beginning of the year or when we have guests visiting class, we also identify our names. Students, teachers, weekly volunteers and guests all participate. It gives us all a chance to momentarily hold the attention of class and introduce some aspect of our lives and personalities via the question. The opportunity to be known and seen in what is often an otherwise hectic and bustling kitchen.


I posed some of our favorite opening questions to our Homegrown team. They are the characters behind those delicious snacks, but since they graduated from programs or joined the Brainfood team, they haven’t had the opportunity to participate in many opening or closing questions. Read on to catch a glimpse into the personalities behind those BBQ sweet potato chips!

          Francisco Rivera, Brainfood Homegrown Food Production Lead

          Molly Pisula, Brainfood Homegrown Production Manager

          Madelyn Bullock, Brainfood Homegrown Market Associate

If you could have a singing voice like anyone in the world, who would it be?


Francisco: I would like to sing like John Legend. Ordinary people was a classic.


Madelyn: Christina Aguilera because I've always wanted to be able to give someone chills while listening to me sing. Plus I've always had this little dream that if I were to ever have a someone who's company I appreciate wholly I would want to sing them Holiday by Jakubi while playing a guitar/piano to express how happy they made me. (It's corny but true)


Molly: Beyoncé of course! So I could belt out Run the World (Girls) on a regular basis. (Without my kids laughing at me.)


If you could have a superpower, what would it be?


Francisco: I previously said having super speed like the Flash would be cool. Recently I believed that being able to grow vegetation at will would be an even better power. Growing vegetables for everyone to eat!


Madelyn: I'd want to be able to look into the backstory of other people.I see strangers all the time but there are some that I see in less than pleasing conditions. I usually think that those people probably weren't always that way, so what series of events led them to this outcome.


Molly: Superpower: invisibility. I’ve been cultivating my inner spy skills since I read Harriet the Spy as an 8-year-old. I can’t even imagine how much more effective I’d be if I could turn invisible.


What's your spirit snack (the snack the represents you) and why?


Francisco: Unripe or ripe mangoes with salt and hot sauce! This is a staple snack in El Salvador where I'm from. Sweet, tangy and spicy super delicious.


Madelyn: Dumpling. On first taste I'm bland or coated in a very thin layer of salt, bite into me and I'm going to punch you with personality. (but instead of pain it will be glory)


Molly: Spirit snack: hummus. Healthy, flavorful, down-to-earth but can be dressed up nicely.


If any song in the world could play when you walk in the room, what would your walk-in song be?


Francisco: The song that would play when I walk in the room...... Tough question. Haha Will Smith’s getting jiggy with it!!!!


Madelyn: Oh gosh. I'm stuck between Formation by Beyonce and Life of the Party by The Weeknd. Formation because it represents me in such a way that a lot of mainstream artists never do and Life of the Party because I really enjoy making a good time.


Molly: See answer #1 :) [Beyoncé, Run the World (Girls)]

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