Coordinator Of The Month: Kelly Leech
Name: Kelly Annin Leech
Hometown: Ojai, California
College Attended / Major:
UC Santa Cruz / BA Global Economics & Latin American Studies
University of Southern California / Masters of Public Health
HealthCorps School Placement: Cabrillo High School
Fun Fact: My favorite animal has been a sloth since I held a baby one in the Brazilian Amazon.
Jeffrey Hartinger: How did you become involved with HealthCorps?
Kelly Leech: Vanessa Deleon, a HealthCorps coordinator, emailed the job posting to a list serve I’m part of and I applied. I’d never worked with adolescents before, but feel I connect well with that age group. Personally, nutrition and exercise interest me, so I knew I would enjoy and learn from teaching these topics. Indeed, during the interview, I was convinced this was the job for me.
JH: What has been the highlight of your placement so far?
KL: The highlight was definitely the Highway to Health on May 4th that had over 40 booths managed by students, staff and community organizations in conjunction with the high school’s annual 5K Run. This was the highlight of the year since the assistant principal, Matthew Brown, my intern, Emma Hawes and my event partner, Jorge Rivera, and I (Kelly Leech) had been planning it since I arrived to Cabrillo. I was also very proud of my Teen Battle Chef students who showed off their culinary and presentation skills during their Final Battle at the event. It was a great exhibition of Cabrillo and HealthCorps’ partnership and the students, staff and community are excited for it next year!
JH: Outside of the classroom, what are some of the activities that you are involved with?
KL: A passion of mine is to travel so this summer I’m going to backpack in Yosemite and will be exploring England, Scotland and India. I also keep “traveling” where I live during the year. Therefore, I like to go to networking events, music festivals and do a variety of exercise, such as yoga on the beach, running, biking and Zumba. I’m also active in a nearby church and love to dance to all types of music.
JH: What do you plan to pursue after your service to HealthCorps is complete?
KL: I want to continue working in the health education field, but advance to an administrative or managerial position in an organization. Eventually, I may pursue a doctoral degree to become specialized in a specific public health skill.
JH: What is one thing you have learned that you will be able to carry with you as you move forward in life?
KL: I’ve learned to be more confident and take more risks. I was hesitant in planning a Highway to Health this year, but Jessica Anders and Rob Lunde supported me. I feel empowered now to do different projects next year including a Hypertension Management Program with the American Heart Association. Believing in my capabilities and recognizing my limitations will help me in the future be efficient and successful in program management.
We want to thank Kelly Leech for her exceptional work and congratulate her for being this month’s coordinator of the month.