Senior Peri Warren is not your typical high school senior. She’s not even your typical “involved” high school senior. She goes above and beyond; she managed to start her own nonprofit giving kids living in North Minneapolis healthy food options, played volleyball, ran track, and participated in a myriad of clubs including the fast-growing diversity and justice clubs.
A big part of Peri’s life is service. “My dad’s work has an outreach type of program where they work closely with low-income projects and during my sophomore year, they worked with Lucy Craft Laney School, and [my family] saw the personal connection and when I was a junior we adopted the school and have since done a backpack drive in which we got backpacks for all the students with all the supplies needed,” Peri said.
The nonprofit that Peri created pro- vides healthy food options to children living in low-income families in North Minneapolis. She does this by using money that she has saved up and funds from the new BSM Dear Neighbor grant awarded to her to buy locally grown foods. “I work a lot with farmers. It’s a lot of networking. I have to figure out which produce will sell the most…I buy the produce at a wholesale, bulk price, and then I pack the groceries and have the volunteers help assemble them. Then we sell the food for a discounted price,” Peri said.
Providing these families and students with healthy meals that they can rely on is something that Peri feels very passionate about and is something that sets her apart from your typical high school senior. “I’m passionate about youth and the access they have to nutritional foods. They need more healthy and affordable produce,” Peri said.
For college, Peri has decided to continue her impressive volleyball and track careers at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. She chose Occidental because it suited her very specific major choice. “My major is Urban and Environmental Policy and [Occidental] also has my exact major, which was really hard to find. It involves a lot of food work as well as working in the inner city and urban areas. Everything worked out [at Occidental],” Peri said.
With this major, Peri hopes to follow her dreams and expand the nonprofit that she has already started. “Eventually, I would like to have a permanent grocery store in Minneapolis. I would hopefully like to expand that. I want to make sure that people who don’t have access to healthy foods do,” Warren said. Whatever the future has in store for Peri Warren, one thing we can be certain of: she’ll change the world for the better.