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Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania Celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania Celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

BGCWPA offers on-demand and live online cooking classes that feature Asian cuisine-inspired dishes

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (May 18, 2022)  – Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania (BGCWPA) was the first Club in the country to offer programming led by our staff via OutSchool (online classes for youth) and was recently selected out of more than 1,600 club units within Boys & Girls Clubs of America to offer virtual learning opportunities including a series of cultural cooking classes. 

BGCWPA is recognized as a national leader in the development of virtual out-of-school programming and one of four club units providing virtual programming on-demand and live to youth. Classes include subjects such as STEM, arts, gaming, sports and cultural cooking. 

For cooking instructor Terra Mayes, food played a large role in feeling connected to her culture.

“I was adopted from South Korea, so when I came over as a baby, my adopted parents were of Irish, English and Welsh heritage and I grew up in the farmland,” Mayes said. “I had a perpetual stomach ache my entire life growing up until, in college, I went on an exchange program to South Korea.”

This is where she discovered that most Korean people are lactose intolerant. She had no idea until she had the opportunity to learn more about the traditional Korean diet. This inspired her to get into cultural cooking and offer this type of program to BGCWPA youth. To infuse her own background into her passion, the first recipe is always Asian-inspired cuisine.

“Food is an art medium, It combines with gardening, pottery, taste, texture, smells, sounds, it all fits together. That’s why I do what I do,” Mayes said. “Many people, children and adults, can relate to cultural cooking.”

Cultural Cooking classes are offered online with the options of on-demand classes or a live session once a week. Families and youth can follow along with Mayes as she cooks her way through different cultures and shares some helpful tips and fun stories to help move the cooking along. The classes can be found at or on the BGCA National Virtual Club app. Become a member follow along!

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