lcbc jykoria family

On August 25th, the 6th Annual Little Chef, Big Chef competition – presented by Whole Foods Market – will take place at The Ordinary. This year, four all-star kids from the Louie’s Kids program will partner with four of the city’s top chefs for one unforgettable evening. One of the special Little Chefs participating this year is Jykoria.

If we’ve said it once we’ve said it a thousand times: health begins at home. Having the support of family is crucial for children who are looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle. There is no stronger testament to the power of family than our very own Jykoria. With the support of her mother and brother, she has turned her lifestyle around and is well on her way to achieving her goals.

Jykoria struggled with her weight from a young age. It wasn’t until she entered into her middle school years that the physical and emotional effects really started to take their toll. She faced constant bullying and would retreat to her home each day after school, seeking solace and comfort in food – a far too common trend in youth today. She would watch as the other children in her neighborhood played outside and rode their bikes, but never felt quite comfortable enough to join them. Jykoria’s mother Jawanda saw her daughter’s health and spirit taking a hit and decided it was time to make a change. Having lost 30lbs herself the year prior, Jawanda knew firsthand how a healthy lifestyle can change everything. So she set out to provide Jykoria with the tools and support she would need to take that step for herself. And Jykoria seized the opportunity like she does everything in her life, with a smile on her face and determination in her heart.

Since joining the Louie’s Kids program in January, Jykoria has proven to be the model participant. She sets goals for herself and works as hard as needed to meet them. She’s replaced her sedentary lifestyle with a much more active one and even enjoys riding bikes with her neighborhood friends after school. Perhaps most importantly, Jykoria has really come into her own and, as a result, others are seeing her for the wonderful and charismatic young woman she is.

As we write this, Jykoria is taking Camp Shane by storm. She has taken up jogging and has already met the goals she set for herself before heading out! We know it was a challenge for her to take this step and leave home for the first time, but the unwavering support of her mother and brother was all she needed to take it. She knows that she has them cheering her along every step of the way, anxiously awaiting her return. As we mentioned before, and time and time again, the support of parents and family can make all the difference in these children’s lives as they go through our programs and choose health.

With your continued support, we are able to help kids just like Jykoria get active and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you want to help us celebrate Jykoria and her family,  join us for this year’s Little Chef, Big Chef event, presented by Whole Foods Market with additional sponsor Southwest Airlines, on August 25th at The Ordinary. You can learn more about the event here.