Coordinator Of The Month: Tyler Mar
Name: Tyler Mar
Hometown: Fremont, California
College Attended / Major: Physiological Science at UCLA
HealthCorps School Placement: American Legion High School in Sacramento, California
Fun Fact: I was involved with theater and the spring musical in high school and considered film directing while in college.
Jeffrey Hartinger: How did you become involved with HealthCorps?
Tyler Mar: Throughout my life, working with youth through mentorship and camp counseling has always been a huge priority for me, and as I studied through college, holistic wellness and preventative medicine also became a major interest for me.
After school, I had these interests, (which I’ve further defined to be my passions) but did not know how to pursue them. I had applied for jobs for several months in health care offices and clinics and even youth sports programs, but nothing really drew me. Towards the latter end of my search, my girlfriend pointed out a job with HealthCorps she had found online and it seemed to fit what I was looking for. I immediately put all of my energy into my application and I have been blessed by how everything has fallen into place since then.
JH: What has been the highlight of your placement so far?
TM: The ongoing, fun, never boring relationships I have been able to build with the students at my school. I enjoy every moment I have with them, as well as the opportunity to be a presence in their lives and communicate the concept of “healthy living.” I’m impressed by how huge an impact the program has had on them as well as how much they support me as their teacher.
JH: Outside of the classroom, what are some of the activities that you are involved with?
TM: Afterschool, I work with students in our Teen Battle Chef program. I also served as the “FIT Leader” for our school Staff Wellness Challenge, where we had seven staff members lose a combined total of 70 lbs together in five weeks!
I’ve worked with our school’s Wellness Council, incorporating a variety of community organizations, and have successfully received a $1,500 grant for implementing an alternative universal school breakfast pilot next year.
During the week, I love to go out and challenge my students on the basketball court to show them a thing or two.
JH: What do you plan to pursue after your service to HealthCorps is complete?
TM: I’m currently considering returning to school to pursue my high school teaching credential or a master’s degree in nutrition in order to continue working to promote health and wellness to others, but I most particularly love working with youth and teens and plan to follow that calling.
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?
TM: An open mind and a smile go a long way.
After working with my students and understanding the life experiences they’ve undergone, I have been very touched by their situations and the challenges they have had to face to be where they are now. In many ways I am a stranger and do not deserve their respect or their attention, which I knew going in, but it was my first priority to make myself available and genuine to spark those relationships. I wouldn’t have had the success I’ve had up to this point without that “openness and smile.” It’s something I have learned to use and I’ve experienced the positive impact it has had on those around me.
We want to thank Tyler Mar for his exceptional work and congratulate him for being this month’s coordinator of the month.