Coordinator of the Month: Allie Huss | July 2019
Name: Allie Huss
Hometown: Pewaukee, Wisconsin
College Attended / Graduating Class / Major: Arizona State University, 2017, Health Education & Nutrition
HealthCorps School Placement / City / State: Kenilworth Elementary in Phoenix, Arizona
Fun Fact: One of my favorite things to do in a new city is explore local coffee shops.
Question #1: Why did you choose HealthCorps?
I’ve always loved health and wellness, and I wanted to be able to take my knowledge and skills to help others be healthier, better versions of themselves. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do after graduation, but after finding the position for the program coordinator role at HealthCorps I knew it was the perfect fit! HealthCorps’ mission aligned with my passions and what I wanted to pursue in a career. I knew that by joining the team, I’d be able to make a positive impact every day.
Question #2: What role do you play in your school(s) beyond “HealthCorps Coordinator”?
I love that in addition to educating students and staff about health, they also come to me as a mentor and friend. I’ve connected with so many students at the school and it’s amazing to know that they feel comfortable coming to me to talk about anything, even if it’s not related to health. As a coordinator we’re expected to facilitate lessons, host health fairs, and be a part of wellness councils. But this role has allowed me to be so much more! I’m a part of a community of people who want to learn and grow and it’s amazing.
Question #3: What have you learned during your placement so far? What has surprised you most?
I’ve learned that even the little things make a huge difference. There are some things that I’ve done and said that I never thought would make a difference in someone’s life. But so many times this last year, students and staff would approach me and tell me how something like a small tidbit of advice or piece of information from a lesson facilitation changed how they viewed their health. I’m constantly surprised at how much a difference we can make as program coordinators and I don’t always realize the impact I’m making. Moments like these change my outlook and I’m thankful for it every day!
Question #4: What advice would you give to teachers, students, parents, communities, etc. who are looking to create more programming focused on healthy living for their students?
Start small! It can be overwhelming to think about everything that needs to be done to make lasting changes. It might take some time but don’t get discouraged; it will all be worth it in the end! Figure out the changes you want to make and what your community needs most. Create a plan, work together as a team, and never be afraid to reach out for help. You’ll be surprised at how many people want to help make healthy changes, too!
Question #5: What advice do you have for future Coordinators or anyone looking to join health-related fields?
Follow your passion and know that you’re making a difference. Some days will be more challenging than others and not everyone will be on board with what you’re doing, but trust the process and know that what you’re doing every day is changing lives. Health is so important and you have the power to help others realize that.
Question #6: What do you plan to pursue after your placement, and how is your time with HealthCorps helping you achieve that goal?
During my first year at HealthCorps, I realized that there are some big changes that need to happen to improve health not only in schools, but also in the community. After my placement, I’d like to focus more on food policy and sustainability. I’m not sure what that looks like exactly, but HealthCorps is allowing me to network and learn from others in the health field so that when my time as a program coordinator ends, I can continue to pursue my passions somewhere new.