My CAHNR Summer: Candelaria Alday ’23 Brings Nutrition Education to Connecticut Communities

the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural ResourcesExtension internships provide students with the opportunity to learn and work in a paid, career-oriented role.

What is your name, major and year?

My name is Candelaria Alday. I am an up and coming junior studying nutritional science on the diet track.

What is your internship this summer?

I am involved in the Fairfield County Community Nutrition Internship at the Fairfield County Extension Center in Bethel, Connecticut. Along with my supervisors, we run various nutritional education programs with EFNEP (Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program) and SNAP-Ed. Our priority is to educate our audience of all ages on the importance of good nutrition and to give examples and alternatives to make meals richer in nutrients. In addition to educating, we provide resources to local pantries, farmers’ markets and provide access to healthy recipes.

Why were you interested in this opportunity?

I have always been passionate about helping others improve their lifestyles through exercise and nutrition. After taking introductory nutrition courses in first year and second year, it further developed my passion for nutrition. I was ready to gain some field experience to see if I could imagine doing this as a career. This opportunity really showed me what is beyond the gates of nutrition, and it has been amazing how involved diet professionals are and how nutrition programs are integrated within. my own community.

How does your work help improve the quality of life for Connecticut residents?

By providing resources and teaching cooking classes, our primary goal is to help improve the health and well-being of Connecticut residents. My supervisors and I are educating the community by working with our partners, such as the Elderly Centers, Schools and Families in Fairfield County, to help integrate better nutritional choices into their own lives and for their families as well. . Providing easy access to these programs through virtual classrooms allows more people to register and get involved!

How would you describe your work experience in this internship?

My experience so far has been wonderful. Although May and June were virtual, I was able to attend all of the planning meetings with our community partners for this year. Luckily we can now do two summer camp programs with the kids in person which has been so much fun! I have worked with children in the camp before, but never from an educator’s perspective. It is so rewarding to work with the EFNEP youth program, involving students and teaching them about nutrition which is not always taught in such depth during their school year. We also encourage young people to participate in fun physical activities, which I have taken the time to create. Some games include relay races and vegetable throwing competitions to get them moving. We received excellent comments from young people on the activities as well as on the educational part of our programs.

How does this internship fit with your future goals at UConn and beyond?

This next fall semester, I will be in the didactic program at UConn. This internship gave me a lot of insight, and I will now be able to relate what I learned in the field with what I will learn in the classroom. As for my projects beyond UConn, this internship has already given me so many connections within my community! I will be able to apply what I have learned not only in my future career, but also in my personal life by being aware of my nutritional choices! This opportunity has been nothing but wonderful and has certainly taught me a lot so far.

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