Alumni Highlights: Molly Alawode
Molly Alawode served at Thomas McKean High School in Wilmington, DE, from 2010- 2012.
What did you do after HealthCorps? What are you doing now because of HealthCorps? What do you plan to do in the future?
After HealthCorps, I pursued an MSc in Public Health with a concentration in Health & Society at King’s College London. Based on my work with HealthCorps at McKean HS, my master’s thesis investigated the impact of Twitter on the adoption of nutritious cafeteria choices among high school students. Now that I’m back in the States, I’m a public health analyst at IQ Solutions, a public health consulting firm in Rockville, MD. I develop strategic communications and social marketing programs for agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I intend to continue with this work because it provides me the opportunity to promote customized disease prevention initiatives among diverse audiences and hard-to-reach populations.
What was the greatest lesson you learned about creating change in health and wellness in your time with HealthCorps?
I learned to meet people where they are, which meant tailoring the HealthCorps curriculum to suit the specific needs of the student body. By taking the time to listen to their concerns and learn their social determinants of health, I could adapt HealthCorps’s lesson plans in a way that my students would best receive them. Sometimes wellness messages are out of touch with the realities of living in a resource-challenged community, so I maximized local tools and partnerships to best serve my students. Our activities didn’t always look like they jumped off of a #fitspiration Pinterest board, but I was still able to communicate the importance of nutrition, fitness, and mental resiliency.
What was your favorite moment or memory with a student, staff, or community member during your time as a HealthCorps Coordinator?
I always loved watching my TBC students battle against other HealthCorps schools on the East Coast. I was so proud to watch them master a healthy recipe and confidently present their dishes to a group of their peers and respected culinary professionals.