Youth Are Invited to Join the NTFB’s Junior Kernel Program 

Applications are open through March 31 for high school and college students to become volunteer leaders at the Food Bank. 

The North Texas Food Bank is excited to open applications for our third year of the Junior Kernel Program! The Junior Kernel Program is designed to give high school and college students an opportunity to serve their community in a leadership capacity. These students serve with the NTFB for 64 hours over nine weeks throughout the summer. In this role, the Junior Kernels are working alongside NTFB staff and senior Kernels to lead volunteers in their volunteer activities. A select group of the Junior Kernels will also serve as camp counselors for NTFB’s Kids Camp.  

As the volunteer specialist, I enjoy watching students from a variety of schools come together to serve their community with compassion, energy and dedication. At the beginning of the program, many of them are strangers as they are from a variety of schools, but by the end they are great friends! Last year, at our end of the program party, we had to tell them it was time to go home because they were chatting and laughing with no end in sight. This program provides a unique opportunity for young people to grow their interpersonal and professional leadership skills and develop time management and communication skills, all while serving their community and peers.  

Stacey Knight, who was voted a 2023 Outstanding Junior Kernel by NTFB staff, said from Pack and Box volunteer shifts to serving as a Kids Camp counselor, the whole experience was fun and impactful. 

“The Junior Kernel program provides you with many kinds of opportunities that allow you to interact with different age groups while making a lasting, positive impact on your community. If you have any doubts about becoming a Junior Kernel, erase them all right now, because it will be one of the best things that could happen to you!” Stacey said. 

And the impact is an important one. With one in six children under the age of 18 in North Texas facing food insecurity, this program allows students to serve other students. In addition to serving, participants gain an understanding about how food insecurity impacts their peers and neighbors. During their training, the Junior Kernels step into the lives of neighbors having to make difficult decisions through a simulation.  

Andrew Boisson, another 2023 Outstanding Junior Kernel, said the program was a rewarding way to spend the summer. 

“I enjoyed volunteering at the NTFB as a Junior Kernel because of the fun work environment and the great Kernels that mentored me,” he said. “I could feel the impact I was making, and that was very rewarding.” 

Applications for the 2024 Junior Kernel Program are open through midnight March 31. Group interviews for finalists will be hosted in April. Those selected will have a full day of training in May. The program runs from June 3 through August 9. Students who are interested should apply ở đây. If you have any questions about the program, contact our Volunteer Experience Team at  

Elizabeth Campo is a Volunteer Specialist at the North Texas Food Bank.

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