Coordinator of the Month: Kate Crimmins | August 2018
Name: Kate Crimmins
Hometown: Hoboken, New Jersey
College Attended / Major: University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Bachelor of Science in Nutrition
HealthCorps School Placement/State/City: William F. Halsey Academy and John E. Dwyer Academy in Elizabeth, New Jersey
Fun Fact: I am running my first Half Marathon in September! Every year I tell myself I am going to run a half marathon, and I always come up with an excuse not to. This year, two individuals very close to me both went through unexpected injuries below the waste resulting in either amputations, or leaving them completely paralyzed. They both lead by example and stayed strong through these challenging times, and really reminded me that you never know what tomorrow will bring. So this year, I run for them!
How did you become involved with HealthCorps?
After working in the food service industry for many years, I had countless interactions with individuals seeking nutritional guidance to cure their various illnesses that they had come down with in their adulthood due to a lifetime of unhealthy habits. It made me think, why isn’t everyone growing up with the knowledge and resources that they need to lead healthy lives and avoid running into these health issues down the road? That question inspired me to pursue a career in health education within schools, which lead me straight to HealthCorps. The organization’s mission lines up exactly with my life’s mission, and having the opportunity to change lives for the better is the best thing you could ask for in a job. I am lucky enough to be a part of creating the next generation of healthy leaders!
What has been the highlight of your placement so far?
The highlight of my placement so far has been being accepted by the students and the staff who have allowed me to become a part of their environment and create a healthy culture by strengthening the resources they already have, as well as creating new ones for everyone to enjoy. A few of my proudest accomplishments include my cooking club and yoga club. These meet once a week to help instill healthy skills within the students (and staff!) to have healthy bodies AND minds! Another one of my favorite components is when I am invited to teach in the classrooms. This allows me to touch the lives of students on an even larger scale. Other fun programming I am involved in has been organizing staff wellness challenges, as well as participating in the school’s Health Fair and field days! My favorite part of my job is that I never have the same day twice, and every day is a new experience!
Outside of the classroom, what are some of the activities that you are involved with?
When I am not in the classroom you can find me outside running, walking, hiking, at the beach, or on the hunt for new tasty restaurants. I also just found a rock climbing facility around the corner from me, so I am sure you will also be able to find me there. Yoga is my favorite form of exercise and I try to do it as often as I can, I hope to someday become an instructor. I also love to cook while watching HGTV, I am an aspiring Joanna Gaines! Aside from all that, spending quality time with friends and family is my all time favorite thing to do.
What do you plan to pursue after your service to HealthCorps is complete?
HealthCorps has really opened my eyes to all the possibilities that the health field has to offer. While I studied Nutrition in my undergraduate career, I have come to realize just how many other areas of wellness there are that make you a healthy individual other than just having a balanced diet and eating the right foods. I hope to study these other areas by pursuing my Masters in Public Health, where I intend to continue to be involved in Community Health. There is always something new to learn, so I intend to continue educating myself as much as I can!
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?
Something I have learned from my placement is that change does not happen over night. It takes a lot of time and patience to create the change you would like to see. Establishing strong relationships with those around you and understanding your surroundings first is what is going to make your impact the strongest it can be. Always staying open minded to the possibilities your role has in your school community, and anywhere you go, will allow for pleasant surprises you never saw coming. And while sometimes you may feel you’re the only one fighting the good fight, keep fighting!