Hope through Housing has joined forces with HealthCorps, a fellow mission-driven nonprofit, to empower youth to live healthier lifestyles and serve as leaders for their community.
HealthCorps strives to address health inequities in at-risk communities through educational leadership, programming, and service learning. Over the past few months, HealthCorps Member Roman Fernandez has been leading weekly Teens Make Health Happen sessions at Vista Del Cielo in Montclair, working in partnership with Hope through Housing’s existing teen club to engage the community’s middle schoolers.
In the early days of the club, Roman offered tips and activities to help the teens promote health and wellness in their daily lives. More recently, they have worked together to create a fitness club that the teens now run each week at the community. Roman collaborated with Hope through Housing’s onsite staff, and together, they were able to increase the impact of their programming.
“It was really helpful with the staff of Hope through Housing, like [PromiseCorps Member] Sabrina and [Services Coordinator] Marycarmen,” Roman said. “They were really helpful to make it happen.”
Originally from Northern California, Roman said that working with youth and families in Montclair as a Hope through Housing volunteer has given him important connections and roots in the communities that he hopes to serve in the future. Roman, a student at Claremont Graduate University, is passionate about working to promote healthy communities and aims to make a positive impact by pursuing a career in healthcare administration in Southern California. Although his HealthCorps position will end soon, he feels proud that the program’s many goals were achieved.
“The main goal was really to empower the youth there – really make them agents and make them feel that they can change their community for the better,” Roman said. “And to also help them focus on their overall mental health and overall physical health.”
Roman is confident that Vista Del Cielo’s teens will continue to promote healthy lifestyles for themselves and their community.
“They really were making an impact for the long term … to implement those clubs for the future,” he said. “I feel like they learned a lot throughout the program.”