Position: Wellness Coordinator at the Arc JacksonvilleDowntown
Degree: Graphic Design and Communication from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA
Favorite part of Jacksonville: All of the fun and free activities like the Art Walks and Riverside Arts Market and the many thrift stores!
Currently reading: GRE study books
I am three and a half months into my service term and I couldn’t feel more at home at my host site. Serving at the Arc Jacksonville Downtown is a fun, challenging and rewarding experience because I serve a great population. As a Wellness Coordinator, I teach adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities about nutrition and exercise. Each day I educate twenty students about healthy eating and fun ways to get moving. Not only do I teach my students, but I offer programs to all Arc participants including Walk-A-Mile Wednesday and help plan healthy activities for Arc events.
The Arc’s mission is “to provide advocacy and quality services that enable people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to achieve their full potential, enhance their full potential, enhance their quality of life and be active participants in their communities.” I educate my clients to achieve their full potential and enhance their quality of life by giving them the tools to lead healthy lives. Unfortunately people with disabilities experience health disparities when compared to the general population including high rates of emergency room visits, high rates of debilitating conditions that can be prevented, and lower rates of formal education, physical activity and social participation.
Promoting health and wellness is part of the mission of the National Health Corps, and I do just that every day to a population that needs it I am able to plan my own creative curriculum in order to meet my clients’ various levels of understanding. We’ve learned the Thriller dance for exercise during Halloween, had hands-on cooking classes for all five food groups and are currently learning our new holiday dance. Many of my students have a new found love for vegetables such as asparagus and brussel sprouts as a result of one of our cooking classes.
Despite serving at the Arc just a short time, my students have welcomed me with open arms and we enjoy our time learning and exercising together. I couldn’t be more happy with my experience thus far in the North Florida Health Corps so far and am excited to see what adventures the remainder of our term will bring!