Valeria Hawkins

Valeria Hawkins
Location: Clarksdale, Mississippi Cohort Start Year: 2016 Project Topic: Food Systems and Nutrition Populations Served: Children and Families, Rural Communities
Healthy Schools Program Manager
Alliance for a Healthier Generation Inc.

I am working to make it easier for kids to develop healthy habits in Mississippi. In the United States, nearly 1 in 3 kids is already overweight or obese, and today’s generation could be the first to live shorter lives than their parents. The significant racial and ethnic disparities that exist in obesity prevalence among American children are pronounced in Mississippi’s diverse communities and pose additional challenges to accessing the resources kids need to grow up healthy. I work with schools, companies, community organizations, healthcare professionals, and families to transform the conditions and systems that lead to healthier kids.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Organize the Mississippi Delta Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Network
The focal point of this strategic initiative is to build a regional network to establish community hubs or schools in each county to improve health outcomes for students and communities within the Mississippi Delta. This action will require the network—“Community Schools” to use the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model to ensure that students and families in the Mississippi Delta can develop and grow in healthy, supportive environments and be provided with the foundation to transition into engaged leaders and productive citizens within their communities.

I live by the mission of trying to “be the change I hope to see in the world” and I am a change agent for better children’s health.