Ten students from Crawford High School were chosen through a rigorous application process to become Cooking It Up! Interns. The youth come from a multi-ethnic background, some coming from immigrant and refugee families. Over 15 weeks they are learning video production, graphic design, cooking and nutrition. They are the leaders in choosing their recipes, designing the website, and shooting & starring in the show. Four college students volunteered as interns to teach the youth and help produce the show. Professionals were hired to lead in the areas of video production, graphic design, cooking and food justice. Visit their profiles below to learn more about them.

StevenLYSteven Ly was born in Sioux City, Iowa, a cold state with many Caucasians and virtually no Asians, so his mom and dad decided to move the family business and home back to California. It was a long and hard trip. Steven grew up without a general understanding of what his parents did for a living until age 13 when he was made to work in his parent’s restaurant. He learned on the job and began to form an interest in culinary traditions and nutrition, especially after entering high school sports. What Steven likes about his involvement with Cooking It Up! is how it complements his strengths and diverse interests: video production, graphic design, and of course after many years in the kitchen—cooking!

Tony New BioTony Nguyen is a 17-year old junior at Crawford High School who is not afraid to take on a challenge. Not only active in student government, Tony plays two varsity sports and still manages to maintain a 4.0 GPA! His career goal is to become a pediatric doctor. Tony joins the team to learn about nutrition and health, and to practice his skills of outreach and communication.

AndyNew BioAndy Bui is a 15-year old sophomore at Crawford High School who keeps his grades up. Andy is a Vietnamese second-language leaner, known for his position as President at Jackson Elementary, (now Fay Elementary). He likes watching animé, Korean dramas, and old Chinese martial arts films. Despite a bit of procrastination now and then, Andy manages to keep good attendance and an excellent GPA, as well as consistently receiving high marks in citizenship. He is currently enrolled in Calculus BC, badminton, and is a member of the Animation Club. Andy is a descendant of the Bui Dynasty. He doesn’t eat much in the way of diary products; his diet consists mostly of rice.

LytaCheaLyta Chea is a 16-year old junior at Crawford High School who keeps her GPA above 4.0! She is also a first generation student. Lyta is Vice-President of the Animation Club and Secretary to the Japanese Club, as well as being involved in other extra curricular activities like CSF and Student Government. She likes to watch cartoons, draw, play guitar, and rap. She joined the team to expand her graphic design knowledge.

AbdulAbdul Rahman Ibn Asadullah is the youngest member of the Crawford High School Cooking It Up! team. He’s an avid skateboarder who happens to love math, but despise English. Abdul joins the team because he loves learning how to cook for himself. Abdul loves chocolate cake!

CrystalBIoCrystal Gillespie hails from north Chicago, now an 18 year old junior at Crawford High School where she is the President of the Academy of Law. She loves cooking, animé, animé-related chats & forums, spending time with family and her boyfriend, watching reality t.v., and reading. Crystal’s passions are music and law, but she especially loves to cook, and is delighted to be part of the Cooking It Up! team! Working with the show gives Crystal a chance to discover new ways in which she can express herself and believe in her own strengths.

domo5Dominique Henderson counts herself lucky to be part of the Cooking It Up! Internship, attributing her selection over other applicants to her ‘top edge’ personality! President of the Animation Club at Crawford High School, she loves Animé/Manga, drawing, and of course, cooking. Dominique considers it an amazing opportunity to be learning about the wonders of graphic design and video production, and is grateful for this chance to gain a depth of understanding about cooking she might otherwise never know.

JesseJesse Avilez is a freshman at Crawford High School who enjoys eating and cooking as well as playing Xbox. He plans to continue his love of food after high school in hopes of becoming a professional chef. Jesse’s favorite part of the Cooking It Up! experience is learning how to cook new foods with high nutritional value.

Miguel New BioMiguel Guzman is an 18-year old senior at Crawford High School who loves to work with cameras. Miguel plans to pursue a career in filmmaking, dreaming of one day becoming a video editor and producer. He joins the team specifically to get hands-on experience with cameras and other equipment, working with the video crew to shoot and edit the show.

Keegan2Keegan O’Neil is a gardener and educator who was born and raised in San Diego. Over the past five years, Keegan has involved himself in efforts toward a more sustainable food system in his home town. He currently works as the Youth Food Justice Program Coordinator for the International Rescue Committee in San Diego. The Youth Food Justice Program teaches about nutrition and small scale organic growing while providing academic enrichment, mentoring and job readiness training through garden programs at Crawford and Hoover High Schools. A graduate from the University of California at San Diego’s Sociology department, Keegan feels that access to healthy, unadulterated food is a universal human right and that development of a truly sustainable relationship with natural systems is necessary to ensure the survival of humankind.

JackieMougelJacqueline Mougel is a senior at Cal State San Marcos University where she majors in Visual and Performing arts with an emphasis on Arts and Technology. She enjoys working in all mediums of art but has focused her time on video production and graphic design. Working as a children’s dance teacher since 2004, she finds great joy and gratification in working with the youth and hopes to continue to do so in the future. Being able to teach the youth the skills she has acquired throughout her college career has been fulfilling and has made this project a great learning process for herself as well as the teens.

EdgarMendezEdgar Mendez enjoys attending Cal State San Marcos not only for the great weather but also because it’s near his house! Being an Art major has opened many roads for Edgar, like studio production and video editing, both career goals. Serving the Cooking It Up! team as a video editor as well as mentor to Crawford High School students has made Edgar realize what a great decision he made in choosing Art as his major.

RustyRusty Jones is passionate about everything related to ‘film.’ With over 13 years in the movie theater industry, he enjoys script writing, editing, and cinematography. A Mass Media major at CSUSM, Rusty is delighted to be involved mentoring high school youth on how they can tell stories using film. Calling the project a “fantastic learning experience” which has furthered his knowledge of filmmaking, Rusty is enthusiastic about passing on what he has learned to others.

LiyinLiyin Sun, a junior at Cal State San Marcos, is a Visual and Performing Arts major whose passion for filmmaking is the primary reason that she, an International student, decided to study abroad in the United States.


Jeremy York is a digital video media professional and Cal State San Marcos alumni. His education allows him to pursue work in the digital media industry. His hobbies include photography and playing Xbox. Jeremy’s favorite part of the Cooking It Up! experience is the opportunity to share his knowledge of mixed media and his passion for video art.

AdrienneMarkworthAdrienne Markworth is Founder and Executive Director of Leah’s Pantry. Beginning with one cooking and nutrition workshop for homeless parents in the fall of 2006, Adrienne expanded Leah’s Pantry throughout California through collaborative partnerships with regional food banks, government public health and human services agencies, and over 250 CBOs. She spearheaded the development of the widely-used Food Smarts Workshops, a multi-lingual and culturally competent curriculum for low-income Californians.  She also created the Food Smarts Training Program for CBO staff and volunteers, as well as neighborhood residents. In 2013, she is directing the development of, a USDA-funded cooking and nutrition website designed specifically for Calfresh (formerly Food Stamps) recipients in California.

KKbioKristin Kvernland or “KK” is a farmer, educator and local food enthusiast. With a background in sustainable agriculture, and youth food justice programming Kristin brings a unique angle to her work with Leah’s Pantry (LP). She has worked with Adrienne Markworth and other LP staff for about a year now and greatly enjoys their nutrition philosophy, recipes and community-based focus. She has most fun cooking, eating, working and playing with youth and adults from diverse communities and can be found on any given day in or around an urban agriculture site in City Heights, San Diego.

JessicaBioJessica Roeckel is the Program Coordinator for, a nutrition/education website launching in August 2013, and works for Leah’s Pantry. She has a Master of Public Health in Community Health Services from UCLA, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media from Arizona State University. This project is an exciting opportunity for her to combine her nutrition and video expertise, and to share her passions with Crawford High School students.

KD4Kristine Diekman, a Professor in Arts and Technology, works closely with the Southern California community as Director of Video in the Community, which she founded, to produce educational videos and documentaries in collaboration with community members to help solve problems affecting the region. Professor Diekman is an internationally known video and new media artist with over thirty years of experience, and the recipient of numerous grants and awards. She is committed to making socially integrated work. Her experimental videos, documentary films and new media installations are interview based, and strive to give voice to the populations and individuals whose life experiences might not otherwise be heard.

KD4James H. Miller is a commercial graphic artist and educator. He leads the Graphic Design group of Crawford High School students mentoring the development of the Cooking It Up! identity as expressed in logo design and social media. His goal is to impart real world knowledge students can apply to a career in media arts and graphic design.

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