My name is Kiana Gibson. I am in fourth year of a Bachelor of Arts & Sciences degree with specializations in Nutrition and Nutraceutical Sciences as well as International Development. I am also a proud Gryphon runner on the Varsity Cross-Country and Track & Field teams.
For part of primary school, I lived in Vietnam with my family. I grew up with an awareness of global inequities and a desire to make a difference.
I became co-head of Tools with Impact (TWI) a high-school student organization that fundraised over $50,000 to support education in Ecuador and Mali.
In my final year of high school, I worked at a coffee plantation in Costa Rica and learned about the vital role of agriculture for livelihood and nutrition outcomes. I realized that my passion lies at the intersection of nutrition and development.
During my first year at UofG, I accepted an honorarium-based position as an English camp counsellor in Taiwan. The camps are often in poor, rural areas where children lack access to nutritious food.
After Taiwan, I co-founded MealCare Guelph, to address marginalized populations within my own community. We save leftover food from campus dining halls and have so far diverted over 14,000 pounds of food from landfills to the Student Food Bank and homeless shelters.
My experiences have led me to participate in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of ‘Zero Hunger’. To expand my knowledge of the nutrition-development interface, I worked for the Arrell Food Institute (AFI) in the summer of 2019. AFI showed me the groundwork for food-focused research, how to address hunger within our communities and abroad, and how advocating for equity in access to food can influence federal policy.
In 2019, I visited my parents in Nicaragua and saw a low-income village where people lived in shocking poverty. I now volunteer with Workaway, an online platform that helps access homestays and cultural exchanges and a preliminary step to familiarize myself with Nicaragua culture with a longer-term vision in mind. I am also pursuing Spanish language training.
With the Summerlee Humanitarian Scholarship, I can afford the costs of international volunteer work as well as the financial security to forgo paid work during the summer – work that would otherwise be necessary to continue my degree in the fall.
The Angel Gabriel Foundation is absolutely pivotal to my lifelong aspirations to work toward UN ‘Zero Hunger’ goals. Thank you.