Coordinator of the Month: Micheline Tocco
Name: Micheline Tocco
Hometown: Melrose, MA
College Attended / Major: University of Maryland, College Park / International Business
HealthCorps School Placement: Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, DC
Fun Fact: I am really excited to be hosting the national launch of the Momentum Challenge App at Woodrow Wilson High School this month on November 14!
The launch event will be a student-led health fair that is based on the app; each of the 17 booths will represent one challenge and students will earn points as they go through the booths and activities! Some of the activities will include yoga, salsa dancing, and nutrition label trivia.
Jeffrey Hartinger: How did you become involved with HealthCorps?
Micheline Tocco: I went to school for business, but after college I spent a year in Spain where I worked at a high school. While there, I thought a lot of health related lessons and an after-school dance program. I loved working with high school students and health and wellness has always been a passion of mine, so HealthCorps was the perfect fit!
JH: What has been the highlight of your placement so far?
MT: Last year’s in-school health fair was a big hit with the school community. It was on Valentine’s Day and the theme was “Love Your Healthy Self.” Both the students and staff were so engaged and I still get requests and questions about the next health fair. It’s a good thing it is coming up so soon!
JH: Outside of the classroom, what are some of the activities that you are involved with?
MT: Outside of the classroom, I run a weekly staff Zumba Fitness class, the school Wellness Council, and an after-school girls’ group called Healthy TiGIRLS. The Healthy TiGIRLS is all about empowering young ladies by developing skills in dancing, cooking, girltalk, and planning health advocacy projects! They just organized and ran an event on October 23rd for Food Day.
This year, I’m getting more involved in the school greenhouse and the school district’s recycling and composting efforts. We have a group of students working in the greenhouse on a weekly basis and in December they will harvest the lettuce and herbs they grow to make a salad and pesto to share with other students. It’s really exciting to see the students really taking ownership of the project! And in the next few months we will be laying out a similar plan to have students leading the composting program in the school cafeteria as well.
JH: What do you plan to pursue after your service to HealthCorps is complete?
MT: The best part about this job is that you are helping people everyday but also having fun! I plan to stay in the health and wellness field with a focus on youth. I must say that at this point, I enjoy not knowing exactly what’s coming next, but HealthCorps has been a great indicator of what I DO want in my work life so I am excited to take what I’ve learned here and build on it.
JH: What is one thing you have learned from your placement that you will be able to carry with you as you move forward in life?
MT: I have learned to be a better communicator and listener- not just in the classroom, but also in all settings. As HealthCorps coordinators, we work with so many different types of people every day, and having the ability to fully listen and communicate with others allows me to connect with them. To me, this is huge because we never stop learning, teaching, and interacting with others. It applies to work life as well as our personal relationships and I know this is one skill that I will always carry forward with me.
We want to thank Micheline Tocco for her exceptional work and congratulate her for being this month’s coordinator of the month.