Through HEAL, Antoine learned more about nutrition and also discovered a love for cooking.
Antoine Tatum was a junior at Jasper High School when he was enrolled in the HEAL for high school class. Antoine had recently suffered the death of his grandmother from diabetes-relates complications due to poor diet and lack of exercise. He was depressed and felt alone and hopeless, admittedly contemplating suicide. Through HEAL he learned more about nutrition and also discovered a love for cooking. Gradually, his outlook began to change. “[HEAL] made me realize what I was eating. I was eating basically the same thing [my grandmother] was. I knew I didn’t want to end up like her.”
Antoine participated in the HEAL recipe challenge at his school, where students compete to make HEAL-icious (healthy and delicious) snacks that are judged for nutrient density by a registered dietician and for taste by fellow students. Antoine’s interest and passion came through and his recipe won first place!
After the contest, Antoine told us, “I know I can do things now that I never ever thought I could do. [The recipe challenge] made me realize that I can help so many more people than I thought I could.” His mom, Korshettea, tells us that he is often in the kitchen now, directing her on how she can eat healthier. “Now he’s involved!”
Antoine’s story so moved our staff and our supporters, that we worked with Faulkner University to ensure a place there for Antione to receive higher education with job placement opportunities.