A Chat With HealthCorps Coordinator Rocio Jacobo About Her New Grant

Posted 01/31/2013 | By HealthCorps

Rocio Jacobo, a coordinator at Desert Hot Spring High School in desert Hot springs California, recently received a grant through the California Table Grape Commission’s 2013 Innovation in Teaching Education Grant Program.  Recently, she shared her background and information about the grant with me.

Tell me a bit about your background:

I am a recent graduate from Brandeis University, with a B.A. in Health: Science, Society, and Policy (public health) and a minor in International and Global Studies. I am originally from Mexico, so serving a community like Desert Hot Springs, where the majority of the population is Hispanic, allows me to use my ethnic, cultural, and language background.

Desert Hot Springs High School is in Desert Hot Springs, California (southern California) and it’s considered to be one of the cities in the Coachella Valley with the lowest socio-economic status.

My interest in health began with my involvement in sports when I was in high school. I also had to translate for my parents during doctor visits – my dad has diabetes and my mom struggled with varicose veins and is pre-diabetic as well. In college, I decided to explore the medical field in the public health sector. My future goals are to pursue a career in public health dentistry, combining my love for art, medicine, and public health.

Tell me about the grant you applied for:

The grant I received is an education grant through the California Table Grape Commission’s 2013 Innovation in Teaching Education Grant Program. The grant awards $750 for the 2012-2013 school year, and is granted to educators (grades K-12) with innovative ideas, whose students will benefit from the classroom projects made possible through this funding by California’s table grape growers. The grant is part of a community service program of the California Grape Commission. This year 36 educators were selected.  I was one of those lucky 36.

I will use the grant for my Cooking Club (Ms. RJ’s Ratatouilles). The vision of the cooking club is to introduce students to the benefits of eating healthier foods, encouraging them to see how eating healthy can be easy, fun, quick, tasty, and affordable. The program’s mission is to promote the importance of eating healthy in order to feel healthy. The goal is to equip students with knowledge, and skills they can implement outside of school, and gradually turn their newly acquired practices into habits. This will be achieved by introducing them to possibilities and options that are feasible for them, taking into account the demographics and low socio-economic status of the community.

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