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White House Garden Harvest

Photo: Jerome Dorn

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White House Garden Harvest

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President Obama stopped by the First Lady’s final harvest of the White House Kitchen Garden for this Administration. After greeting the students from across the country and special guests who had joined Mrs. Obama for the harvest, he took time to admire the new table, benches, arbor, and entryway which the First Lady unveiled during the garden dedication.

At the harvest, it was a reunion of folks who have worked with us on our Let’s Move! efforts over the years, from school nutrition to food marketing to physical activity. In fact, three people who were here at the very beginning to help get the garden started, former Let’s Move! Executive Director Sam Kass, Former White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses, and White House Grounds Superintendent Dale Haney joined in on the fun. In addition, the First Lady also had help in the garden from Sesame Street’s Elmo and Rosita, NASA Astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Al Roker of The TODAY Show, Ashanti, Alonzo Mourning, Farmer and CEO of Growing Power Will Allen, Burke County School Nutrition Director Donna Martin, and President of the Produce Marketing Association Cathy Burns.

But of course the most important helpers are the students! Throughout the last seven and a half years, the First Lady has invited kids to work with her on planting and harvesting the garden. Kids that currently participate in Let’s Move! programsjoined for the final harvest as did students from two local D.C. schools who regularly help in the garden, Bancroft Elementary School and Harriet Tubman Elementary School. In fact, two former Bancroft Elementary students, Tammy Nguyen and Dorotea Debelack, who were at the very first harvest in 2009 also came back to help for this special reunion.

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Celebrity photographer and disabled Vietnam veteran Jerome Dorn embodies the very definition of resilience. Born in Philadelphia, the fifth of seven children, Dorn stayed focused throughout his youth, eventually obtaining his degree in Criminal Justice. Dorn has worked with the Philadelphia Police Department, Department of Justice, World Wide Detective Agency, and several other high profile security groups. Throughout his successful career, Dorn wrestled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, an aftereffect of his military service. Battling the pain and debilitating effect of PTSD, Dorn found comfort behind the camera. Photography proved to be not only therapeutic, but life changing as well. Dorn picked up his first camera in 1970 while serving in Vietnam and knew instantly that behind the lens was where he belonged. His shooting style and photographs were special, generating a buzz in the industry. In 1985, he began his career in photojournalism, working in a variety of genres. Dorn’s credentials include fashion, lifestyle photography, photojournalism, and celebrity/red carpet coverage. Working with MSNBC, Jet Magazine, and major publications in Philadelphia and around the country, Dorn has had the honor of capturing the images of hundreds of notable celebrities and politicians including President Barack Obama, George Bush Jr, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Maya Angelou, Jesse Jackson, Rihanna, Snoop Dog, Will Smith, and Tyler Perry. Photography has sent Dorn around the globe, inspiring his passion for civil activism. In 1995, Dorn assembled and led a group of forty-two men to the Million Man March. Together, they spent five days walking from Philadelphia to Washington DC. In his travels, Dorn observed a common theme amongst the youth of the world. Many of the children he encountered seemed lost. Understanding that opportunities for at-risk youth are minimal, Dorn was inspired to make a difference. Established by Dorn in 2011, InDaHouseMedia was built on the idea that there is room in the house for everyone. With InDaHouseMedia, Dorn’s mission is to provide the future generation with positive direction through sports, music, and photography.

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