“Food is something that everyone can typically agree on,” junior Izagani Aquino said. “It is something that they hold near and dear to their
Stemming from Aquino’s avid appreciation of polish dogs and interest in marketing, the movement Polish Dogs 2020 was born. All Costco locations in the United States took the Polish dog, which is essentially a garlicy sausage, off the menu in July of 2018 with the rationale that they wanted to create room for healthier options. Skeptics continue to wonder why the Polish dog was taken off the menu due to the other relatively unhealthy items still available. However, according to Aquino, his campaign was not just created with the goal of putting the Polish dog back on Costco’s
“I would like to think of Polish Dogs 2020 as more than a movement, with its true purpose being to educate others on how to apply the same tactics I have utilized in order to raise awareness for other world problems,”Aquino said.
Polish Dogs 2020 is not just a lighthearted project; it has required an incredible amount of effort, communication, and leadership skills to bring about the success Aquino has garnered so far.
With over four different social media platforms, Aquino has amassed 416 followers on Instagram alone. He also continues to collaborate with companies and make campaign videos, which he posts on his YouTube channel. Due to the spread of the movement through social media, Polish Dogs 2020 has been published in the online daily food magazine The Kitchn, featured on ABC7 news and endorsed by Joey Chestnut, the 2019 winner of Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
To spread the movement, Aquino recently launched the Campus Ambassador Program, gaining support from current college students around the state. Several San Marin alumni are among those who support the movement including Alejandro Lim at UC Berkeley, Tyler Colenbrander at Caltech, Cole Fehring at Cal Poly, Andrew Rice at UCLA and Aquino’s sister Priana at the University of San Francisco.
Priana Aquino, a current sophomore majoring in Business and minoring in Legal Studies, has been a supportive figure to him throughout the creation of this campaign.
“In the beginning, I did not really understand the vision he had for this,” Priana said. “However, as Izagani started to make campaign videos and reaching out to different companies, I started to understand that this project in itself was simply a microcosm of what he wanted to learn how to do: network and promote.”
Priana was the first campus ambassador to join the program. She continues to encourage and support her brother throughout his endeavors, and having seen the whole process of the movement, is “extremely proud” of his results.
“His immense success from this is very well deserved, and I am (and always have been) extremely proud of him,” Priana said.
While Aquino has had many triumphs throughout his campaign, he still has goals for the future. Although putting the Polish dog back on the Costco menu would be ideal, Aquino believes that his movement has been an “absolute win” due to the message it brings to all teens.
“I believe that Polish Dogs 2020 provides the perfect stepping stone for teenagers to learn about change,” Aquino said. “By showing my peers the value of finding something they believe in and pursuing it with joy, energy, and excitement, I hope that they too are able to start their own movements that can help save the world.”