Forbes honors Philadelphia woman for work in Black community

Jiana Murdic works solely out of Global Leadership Academy at 52nd and Pine streets.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Jiana Murdic is the founder of "Get Fresh Daily," a social enterprise focused on teaching Black children about healthy eating and wellness.

Murdic started her mission-driven program 10 years ago as a teacher. She realized healthy eating and learning went hand in hand, and that many of her students of color didn't have access to healthy food.

Recently, she was awarded the prestigious title as one of Forbes' "The Culture 50 Champions." The list recognizes leaders who invest in Black and brown communities including former NFL player Colin Kaepernick and actress Issa Rae.

The Mt. Airy resident works solely out of Global Leadership Academy at 52nd and Pine streets, where her classroom is a garden.

She teaches her students about gardening and how to eat a plant-based diet. She started her program the same year former First Lady Michelle Obama launched "Let's Move," a public health campaign dedicated to stopping childhood obesity.

Murdic said she realized too many Black students lived in neighborhoods where there was only access to corner stores instead of healthy options.
"I realized I have to come at it sideways because we're very particular about our food. Our food is our culture, our community, it is our joy," Murdic said.

She encourages her students to share what they learned. The big picture is that it will affect the community as a whole.

"Particularly with this garden project, we connect with them, with their families at home as well as their extended family. So now we're like aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents," Murdic said.

Her students said they really enjoy learning how to garden and then making things like smoothies.

"She's a nice person. She's a very generous person and she is thoughtful," said fifth-grader Madison Brown.

The Philadelphia Forbes' shining star has many exciting projects on the horizon. She would like to make her garden project a model for schools nationwide. She would like to start by being a consultant for other schools in Philadelphia.

The community can support this great cause through GoFundMe to support the youth programs.

Tell us about the person or organization that is doing great things in your community.

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