Giuliana Nagel, Youth Press Team 2023

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to experience the 12th annual NY Sun Works Youth Conference on May 24, 2023 at the Javits Center on 445 11th Ave New York, NY.

There were so many exciting presentations and demonstrations, but the one that stood out the most to me was a presentation by Qiana Mickie. The one thing that I loved most and inspired me was that she was not looking on any slides or had any slides, she was speaking her mind and you could tell it was coming all from her heart. 

 I was also very impressed with her position in work as the Director of NYC Mayor’s Office of Urban Agriculture working with many farmers and scientists. As the first person to get this job she says she is “getting creative”, meaning being the first she does not have to follow anything specific because she is the first person in this new spot.

It all started, she said, when her son inspired her because he did not like the school lunch he had, and whenever they went to the supermarket he loved all the fresh food. She knew that many neighborhoods did not have all the good fruits and vegetables like hers did so she started to think “how do we get healthy food for kids?”

She loves her job because she feels like it is “more than working in an office”. She said that she feels it is more about working in a community with other people. She also talked about being able to go into school classrooms and see how they learn about her job.

So although there were so many good performances and presentations, Qiana Mickie stood out to me the most and inspired me to give to others more.