Tag: engagement

Green Smoothies and Lots of Learning at Summer Classes for Kids

Gali eyed a green beverage with suspicion on a recent Friday afternoon. She’d never heard of putting spinach in a smoothie before, but she took a chance, tried a sip, and was delighted to discover a new favorite drink.

Gali and her friends had concocted the smoothie at a summer class for youth held at Global to Local. Young members of the local Somali community who joined the four-class series learned about nutrition, enjoyed physical activities, and developed their leadership skills.

Nutrition class participants, including Hassan, concentrated hard to get their smoothie recipe just right!

Global to Local offered the summer program in partnership with Food $ense to help local youth develop healthy habits. Educating young people about their health not only sets them up to make good choices for themselves, but also to positively influence their families.

Community Health Worker (CHW) Abdi Hussein coordinated the class, one of many programs that Global to Local CHWs offer to help build a healthier community here in the SeaTac/Tukwila area. CHW activities range from organizing exercise and nutrition classes, to addressing barriers that prevent residents from visiting their primary care doctors.

Community Health Worker Abdi Hussein (left) laughed along with students as they played a game to learn about the effects of caffeine.

Our CHW work is inspired by the many global health programs that train trusted community members as health workers who operate outside of clinics to provide education, referrals, and social support for health behaviors. It’s just one of four initiatives that G2L has developed to improve community health.

Continued engagement

After school starts back up, Abdi will continue to keep in touch with the students and their families, who are his neighbors. Two of the students’ parents are joining a nutrition class that Abdi’s organizing in September. And he is working to connect the families with their primary care doctors. Through G2L’s partnership with HealthPoint, Abdi and other CHWs help families make medical appointments, communicate with clinicians, and follow through with prescriptions and doctor recommendations.

Global to Local is also engaging young people through our Green Cities partnership with Forterra. We’re inviting youth to give input about where trees should be added in their community, and then get hands-on planting trees! Contact Niesha Brooks, G2L’s leadership and engagement manager, if you have any questions or want to get involved.

By the way, we suspect there are more green smoothies in Gali’s future. A few days after that summer class, she called Abdi to tell him she’d made a batch for her whole family.

An outdoor activity not only helped students burn some energy, but also taught them about teamwork as they raced the clock to make a star shape with a rope.

Tukwila’s River Run Brings Diverse Communities Together for Healthy Fun

race participants at finish line

Dozens of participants in Global to Local community health programs gathered under a bright blue sky last weekend for the annual River Run 5K. Fitness enthusiasts, ranging in age from young children to grandparents, converged on the beautiful course, which followed the Duwamish River south of Tukwila Community Center.

race participants next to river

G2L fitness program participants have been running and walking in the race since 2014; it’s become a beloved tradition.

group of race participants

“Participating in this race has been really successful for us over the years, as it complements our physical activity programs,” said Community Health Worker (CHW) Monica Davalos, who has joined the event four times. “I like that the 5K is a motivation – it’s a challenge that most of our participants had never tried before. And when the race is over, they feel like they’ve really met their goals.”

race participants

The crowd reflected the diversity of South King County, with Somali and Latino communities particularly well represented thanks to recruitment by CHWs.

“By participating in the walk/run each year, we’re integrating our communities into public activities and making them visible. The CHW team brings awareness and makes the process of participating in these activities easier for our communities, thus removing barriers,” said CHW Program Manager Aisha Dahir.

participants run to finish line

“It was great to bring diverse communities together,” added CHW Diana Melgoza. “Being able to all have the same goal — same start, same finish — and encouraging and motivating each other was really fun. It was my first time doing a race, and I want to do it again!”

Check out more photos from the event on our Facebook page. And while you’re there, “Like” our page to keep up with all things Global to Local!

Community Health Workers

G2L currently employs five CHWs, including Monica and Diana, who support Tukwila and SeaTac residents in improving their health and fitness. Their activities range from organizing exercise and nutrition classes, to addressing barriers that prevent residents from visiting their primary care doctors.

Our CHW program is inspired by the many global health programs that train trusted community members as health workers who operate outside of clinics to provide education, referrals, and social support for health behaviors.

The initiative is one of four programs for improving community health that G2L has developed with the goal of helping communities around the country adapt the programs to serve their needs.

Tukwila Parks and Recreation, a key partner

Big thanks to our friends at Tukwila Parks and Recreation, who organize the race each year and have long been fantastic partners in supporting the health and fitness of our community. Watch our video to learn about another of our collaborations, a fitness program at Tukwila Community Center that creates a culturally appropriate space for Somali women to improve their health.

The Power of the Connection Desk

I recently spent some time getting to know all of our programs from a community level. In December, I volunteered at the Connection Desk and got to see the power of what makes it work. Communities aren’t simply connected to social and health services. Rather, they are given a helping hand to improve their daily lives. In doing so, you empower people and give them the ability to believe in themselves and others.

Imagine yourself in need of help paying rent or to enroll in health insurance. Maybe this isn’t too far off from reality. But if you haven’t been in these shoes, think of having no option except to ask a stranger for help. At the Connection Desk, you enter the door and are immediately greeted by warm faces. Those faces are intentionally there to make you feel welcomed and supported. First, you’ll enter brief information about yourself and the type of services or resources you need. Then a program coordinator will patiently walk you through the necessary steps for registration for the Affordable Health Care, utility assistance, housing, resume building and much more.

I had the opportunity to work with a newcomer that was in need of a resume and finding job opportunities. As we began to build his resume, he started to talk. By listening, we had the chance to learn about each other and hear each other’s stories. In the end, it was more than just resources. We began to have an honest human connection, valuing and validating the social experience.

 

By Niesha Brooks
Leadership & Engagement Manager

The First Step in Expanding the Leadership Program

Global to Local - News

We are all very excited at G2L to announce that our Leadership Engagement Manager position has been filled! Please join us in welcoming Jojo Gaon to the G2L family. Jojo comes with much experience in leadership and art, including starting Youth Speaks, a youth arts and leadership development organization.

This position was created in response to several community conversations we hosted over 2016 that indicated the desire for more pathways toward leadership for underserved communities. The Leadership Pipeline program will be a collaborative process of bringing together key stakeholders to assess needs and develop solutions. Where our existing Connectors Program works toward training and employing community members to provide equitable community engagement, the Leadership Pipeline will be focused on equitable access to both civic and professional leadership opportunities.

From building the job description to the interviewing process, we have been all hands on deck – staff and community partners combined. Thanks to the whole team for your support on this process. We can’t wait to see Jojo in action!

Striving for Health in S. King County

G2L first heard from Monica Davalos, a mother and long-time Tukwila resident, at a “Community Conversation” where she shared her family’s daily challenges with health. Monica’s common experiences has given her the insight that has allowed her to be successful in her role as G2L’s Latina Community Health Worker. Together with G2L, she channels the concerns and issues community members face and uses this platform to continuously listen and amplify the marginalized voices of others to bring better health to S. King County.

For more about Monica’s journey from community member to community health worker at G2L, check out: http://www.seattletimes.com/pacific-nw-magazine/in-s-king-county-an-extraordinary-effort-to-bring-better-health/