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We’re excited to introduce our ChopChop Kids Advisory Board (KAB). This group of cool kids was hand selected from kids that applied. They’ll help us to test recipes, think of new ideas for the magazine, and make sure ChopChop gets the kid approval. For the next few weeks, we’ll be spotlighting different members of the board. This week, meet Maxwell. He spent the summer doing an internship with DoSomething, Inc., which helps launch worldwide campaigns to get teens involved making a difference. Now he’s back for a second term on the advisory board! 

Name: Maxwell Surprenant

Location: Boston, MA

Age and Grade: 13 years old, 8th grade

Why did you apply to be on the ChopChop Kid Advisory Board? It’s fun, and I value promoting kids and families cooking and eating healthy together.

Last year for the ChopChop KAB I worked on: I tested recipes, wrote product reviews, contributed blog posts, attended KAB meetings, distributed ChopChop magazine at community events.

Since last year I’ve been up to: This year, marks the ninth year of Catching Joy, a non-profit that promotes volunteerism and acts of kindness beginning with kids, teens, and their families. I serve as the Co-Founder and Creative Director. I was one of ten winners of the PeaceFirst Challenge and invited to present my ideas at the first Allstate Good Starts Young Rally in Chicago in June. I won $2,000 to develop my Catching Joy project promoting civic engagement and addressed the social injustice of hunger. I also won Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation “Channel Kindness” Award. They picked a winner in each of the 8 cities where Lady Gaga is touring, and I won for Boston. I’m also one of 14 youth winners of the #dititalforgood contest sponsored by #icanhelp. I’m invited to present my ideas and receive an award at the first #digitalforgood conference at the Twitter conference in San Francisco, CA. In addition, I will continue as Scholastic New Kid Reporter for my third term. My recent articles included the 2017 Tony Awards in NYC, 2017 ESPY Awards, 2017 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Sports Awards in LA, moderating the Greenwich Film Festival and interviewing Dav Pilkey about the blockbuster movie Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, and many other authors and illustrators.  I won Honorable Mention in the 2017 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for my poetry. I’m also going to play for Rocket Travel Baseball for my second year. My positions are catcher and second base. I also sing in my school choir, participate in art club, and take drum lessons.

Cooking is important because: It helps us eat healthier, and it’s fun to share food with family and friends.

Some advice for kids just learning to cook and who may be nervous is: Start with ChopChop Kids recipes, which are fun and easy. Get a grown-up to help you, but you can do everything. Go grocery shopping, too. Make it fun, and invite your family and friends to taste your cooking by having a special meal or party even you make just one part of it like a salad or side. Eventually, you’ll make the whole meal!

A new cooking skill I’ve learned in the last year is: Using a slow cooker.

A cooking goal I have for this year is: Cooking some family recipes of Filipino foods.

Something I didn’t like to eat at this time last year, but I do now is: Beets.

My favorite ChopChop recipes from this year are: Greek pasta salad, egg salad, smoothies, and popsicles.

This year, I want to contribute to the KAB by: I would like to write more blog posts. I would also like to host some events teaching kids and families to cook. I would also like to organize an event to help fight hunger.

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