Anna Hadjiyiannis – Peach Orchard to PIIE Scholarship
Anna Hadjiyiannis received the 2021 Casey Feldman Foundation PIIE Scholarship and was the third recipient to have selected an internship with the nonprofit, Chef Ann Foundation, whose mission was one Anna agreed with and stood by. Through the Casey Feldman Foundation’s Public Interest Internship Experience (PIIE ) scholarship program, students receive funding for a summer internship for a governmental agency or non-profit organization. Based in Boulder, CO, the Chef Ann Foundation supports school districts throughout the country by providing the resources and funding needed to provide fresh, healthy meals in school.
The Chef Ann Foundation began about 10 years ago when Chef Ann Cooper began to notice the unhealthy lunches provided by schools during her time as the Director of Food Services for Boulder Valley School District. When Anna saw the foundation’s name listed on the CU PIIE internship list, she immediately applied because she knew she would be invested in their mission.
Currently a junior at the University of Colorado Boulder, Anna is majoring in elementary education with a minor in Spanish. Working at the Chef Ann Foundation as a School Food Reform intern allowed Anna to combine her interest in education and healthy food by providing opportunities to educate school food professionals and children about health.
I genuinely was passionate about what they were doing,” Anna said. “It’s something I experience. It’s something I know. It’s something I do in my own life. So, I was just marrying all these important realms in my life in a very neat way.”
Food has always been a big part of Anna’s life as her mother has always emphasized the importance of nutrition. Working at a peach orchard and farmer’s market since the age of 15 has also allowed Anna to learn about agriculture and the importance of buying locally. Being a Colorado native, Anna was one of the first groups to see the effects of Boulder’s school food before Chef Ann stepped in to help.
I actually can recall that switch,” Anna said. “So it was actually really important, really meaningful to me the fact that I got the internship in the first place.”
Anna’s supervisor, Emily Gallivan, director of programs, said Anna completed a variety of tasks for the Chef Ann Foundation during her internship. Her daily tasks included working on the organization’s impact and reach numbers, data analytics, summaries of the latest research on school food and graphic design work.
Anna was a great asset to our team and brought a wonderful positive and can-do energy,” Emily said. “She was flexible when new projects came up or someone on the team needed more immediate help. She was very thoughtful about her work and always made sure to ask questions when she needed additional guidance or support. Her contributions allowed us to catch-up on many pieces that our team had more limited capacity for and to have more general support for our programs.”
Interning at the Chef Ann Foundation provided Anna with her first experience working in an office job. She learned how to work with different teams and communicate professionally over email, as well as learned how nonprofits work and what nonprofit outreach looks like.
After spending the summer interning for the Chef Ann Foundation, Anna believes she will seek a career as an elementary school teacher and will then pursue non-profit work or policy work surrounding education.