Coordinator of the Month: Lindsay Monal | June 2019
Name: Lindsay Monal
Hometown: West New York, NJ
College Attended / Graduating Class / Major: Sacred Heart University / Class of 2017 / Majors: Marketing & Environmental Sustainability with a minor in Human Rights and Social Justice
HealthCorps School Placement / City / State: Memorial High School, West New York, NJ
Fun Fact: Being healthy for me is all about balance, I eat my veggies and love chocolate cake!
Question #1: Why did you choose HealthCorps?
This opportunity with HealthCorps came at the perfect time for me. I was a recent college graduate working what felt like a million hours a week freelancing and decided I needed a job that gave me a better work/life balance. HealthCorps was the first job that came up on Indeed when I began looking and I was blown away by how great it sounded. Now I’m lucky enough to work at a school a few short blocks from my home, it’s a dream!
Question #2: What role do you play in your school(s) beyond “HealthCorps Coordinator”?
At MHS I’m the HealthCorps Coordinator and Leader of the Wellness Council. Leaving fruit and veggie infused water in the office has granted me the title “Water Girl”. I’m also known to staff and students as the yoga/meditation lady and the lady with all the snacks and prizes.
Question #3: What have you learned during your placement so far? What has surprised you most?
I have learned that not everyone is always going to be on board with what you are selling, so you have to focus on the people and students who are interested and supportive. I’ve been most surprised by the amount of reach this program has had. I’ll get stopped in the hallway by students I don’t know asking me about health or when I can come into their classes. It’s great to see that what I’m doing is having a ripple effect through the school
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?
My biggest advice would be to start simple. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel or try to explain some crazy diet fad. There are tons of resources available for you to get started. My most effective lesson this year was “Rethink your Drink” where I had students measure the sugar in different brands of soda and sugary drinks. It’s simple to facilitate and gets the message across in a fun and interactive way!
Question #5: What advice do you have for future Coordinators or anyone looking to join health-related fields?
My advice for future coordinators would be to be present, to make eye contact, and to smile at every person you encounter! Healing happens in community. As Malcolm X famously said, “When ‘I’ is replaced with ‘we’ even ‘Illness’ becomes ‘Wellness'”.
Question #6: What do you plan to pursue after your placement, and how is your time with HealthCorps helping you achieve that goal?
HealthCorps has been such a great outlet for me to explore so many different avenues of this ever-changing wellness field. After HealthCorps, I plan to continue working to promote health and wellness in high needs communities. I will teach yoga and meditation classes that inspire and empower others with tools to self-regulate and opportunities to make choices to help bring them closer to themselves. I don’t have any specifics right now but, in this life, I plan on traveling far and laughing often!