Meeting Jeanette from the Faces of Hope for the first time was an amazing experience. Immediately I got the impression that we shared many of the same interests and passion, many of which could be seen in how she runs the organization. I didn’t know much about the faces of hope before our meeting so I had so many questions which she was more than happy to answer. I learned that her and her husband had some up with the idea to set up an organization which would target childhood obesity. She had seen obesity become a large problem in low income neighborhoods due to lack of healthy food access and simply being unable to get outside and exercise because the neighborhood isn’t safe enough. So she and her husband wanted to provide an service which educates children and their families about healthy eating and encourages personal empowerment such that together we make significant strides toward fighting and preventing childhood obesity. The first thing I realized is that the Faces of Hope uses many different resources to help children and their families and doesn’t just focus on nutrition which is what I first believed. Physical activity and nutrition education both play a part in helping children lose weight.
We then went on to talk about my role at the Faces of Hope for the semester. Jeanette was clearly enthusiastic about her volunteers and wasn’t afraid to throw us into big projects with a lot of responsibility. This is something I really appreciated because in many volunteer or internship positions, you don’t end up learning very much. We decided that I would begin by working on the application which would allow the Faces of Hope to also treat children with mental and physical disabilities. It is a 6-12 month process which I was very excited to work on!
Overall my first impression of Jeanette was extremely positive, she clearly takes on so much running the organization but is so passionate about it which I could really see when she was talking about her goals for the faces of hope. One of the things she said that really stood out to me was that her end goal for the organization is to be the leader in treating pediatric obesity. She was aware that this is a huge goal but her attitude towards helping others is so infectious that it didn’t seem impossible by any stretch, it is just going to take a lot of work!