Coordinator of the Month: Victoria Lyon
Name: Victoria Lyon
Hometown: Santa Fe, New Mexico
College Attended / Major: University of Richmond, BA Leadership Studies with a concentration in Leadership Through Health Promotion
HealthCorps School Placement: Hiram Johnson High School, Sacramento, California
Fun Fact: I was about to sign a contract to teach Zumba on a cruise ship when I found out that I was hired by Healthcorps!
Jeffrey Hartinger: How did you become involved with HealthCorps?
Victoria Lyon: Fellow University of Richmond alumnae and fitness instructor Tenaj Ferguson was not only my inspiration to become a fitness instructor, but she also worked as a Healthcorps coordinator. She encouraged me to apply to work for the organization. Tenaj also shared her experience with me as I continued my studies and I anxiously waited for the application to be posted at the beginning of my senior year of college. My classmates thought I lost my mind when I left Richmond, Virginia for Sacramento, California.
Moving to an unfamiliar place across the country may sound daunting, but I cannot think of a job I would enjoy more than my position at HealthCorps, which has made the transition easy.
JH: What has been the highlight of your placement so far?
VL: I love teaching the Fit Teen after-school club. I co-teach with a physical education instructor, and we strive to expose our students to a variety of fitness programs to help them find a way to enjoy physical activity throughout their lives. We are currently teaching yoga, Zumba, and boot camp. The most exciting moment with my Fit Teens was bringing my them to meet celebrity trainer Dolvett Quince from the Biggest Loser through an event put on by the United Way!
JH: Outside of the classroom, what are some of the activities that you are involved with?
VL: I am determined to improve the school food at Hiram Johnson, which has led me to serve on the Sacramento Unified School District’s Wellness Council, as well as their Healthy Foods Task Force. We are working to introduce a strawberry breakfast parfait in the spring.
I am also the chair of Healthcorps’ School Food Committee, so I hope to take the lessons I learn and assist the coordinators across the country to improve their schools’ food. In addition, I have joined the school’s social committee to improve the food at staff meetings, educate the parents at monthly PTA meetings, and have chaperoned several field trips.
JH: What do you plan to pursue after your service to HealthCorps is complete?
VL: I hope to pursue a MBA/MPH degree and have a career in corporate wellness. I am fascinated by choice architecture (the way in which decisions are influenced by how choices are presented) as it relates to health. I would love to help large organizations design their environments and cultures to promote healthy choices, such as Google has done.
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?
VL: I am only four months into the job, so I am still learning every day! The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that there is an art to asking questions in order to make change. Asking questions in a way that shows an interest in collaboration has been crucial to getting meaningful dialogue going on improve the health culture at my school. I’ve been amazed by what I’ve been able to accomplish by starting with the question, “How can I help?”
We want to thank Victoria Lyon for her exceptional work and congratulate her for being this month’s coordinator of the month.