Coordinator Of The Month: Danielle Henderson
Name: Danielle Henderson
Hometown: Visalia, California
College: University of Washington
Major: Psychology & Public Health
HealthCorps Placement: The Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School in Brooklyn, New York
Fun Fact: I competed in the USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic National Championships twice!
Jeffrey Hartinger: How did you become involved with HealthCorps?
Danielle Henderson: I first heard about HealthCorps through a friend who was a teacher at a school that had a HealthCorps Program. From there, I researched HealthCorps and found that it was exactly what I was looking for because being a Coordinator would allow me to combine my interests in psychology and public health and gain experience in the field.
I applied and got offered a job at Kurt Hahn in Brooklyn and have never looked back!
JH: What has been the highlight of your placement so far?
DH: In March of 2012, 20 students, one teacher and I built a greenhouse from the ground up. We worked from 8:30AM to 3:00PM for an entire week to build the structure in the pre-existing garden space at the school. We started by measuring the space and ordering supplies and then students took on tasks such as pouring cement, cutting and measuring wood, building the door and securing the heavy duty plastic to the wood.
The greenhouse is a wonderful asset to the school garden because now we can grow herbs and vegetables throughout the year. The garden club is looking forward to planting again in March!
JH: Outside of the classroom, what are some of the activities that you are involved with?
DH: One of my favorite activities is Meditation Tuesdays with Sahaja Meditation. In the morning before school, we have a breakfast and meditation club in which students and staff meditate together for 10 minutes and then enjoy a breakfast that consists of oatmeal, fruit and green tea. Following this, representatives from Sahaja Meditation then lead meditation in classrooms.
On an average Tuesday, 75 Kurt Hahn students and staff begin their day with meditation. In addition to Meditation Tuesdays, I also have a cooking club, an after school yoga club, and I maintain the school garden.
JH: What do you plan to pursue after your service to HealthCorps is complete?
DH: My HealthCorps experience has left me eager to learn more so I will be able to do more. Therefore, after my service to HealthCorps is complete, I will begin a Master’s Degree Program in Public Health with a concentration in community and behavioral health. In this program, I will learn the top theories and strategies to develop solutions to current public health issues and will be more equip to be a leader in the public health field.
Following this, my ultimate goal is to start a non-profit organization in my hometown which promotes health, prevents disease and eliminates health disparities through the implementation of programs.
JH: What is one thing you have learned that you will be able to carry with you as you move forward in life?
DH: One thing I’ve learned is that it is important to be passionate about what you do. I love coming to work every day because I get to educate teenagers about making healthier choices in their lives and this excites me day in and day out.
It’s such a rewarding job, and I hope that I continue to find this excitement in my next endeavor. I’ve realized that when I’m passionate about something it doesn’t feel like work, it feels like I get to wake up every morning and do what I love to do!
We want to thank Danielle Henderson for her exceptional work and congratulate her for being this month’s coordinator of the month.