78 individuals from 9 different Boston neighborhoods and 12 neighborhood organizations have been recruited to participate as Healthy Community Champions, grassroots ambassadors and educators at the neighborhood level tasked with supporting Boston PICH goals. Let’s meet a few of these commuity leaders:

Edna de Paula

EdnaAge: 62
Organization: Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation
Neighborhood: Allston/ Brighton
Topic Area: Healthy Food and Beverage Promotion
Why did you become involved with the Healthy Community Champions program? I became involved because I love my neighborhood, but we don’t have access to healthy food choices. The quality of food available has decreased since fast food is quick and people are eating too much junk food. I want to help educate people on how to eat healthfully and promote changes that are good for the community.
What are you hoping to accomplish? I would like to learn more about nutrition myself so that I can educate others. I would also like to promote our local Farmer’s Markets and let people know that it’s affordable.

Shayna Holloway

ShaynaAge: 28
Organization: Codman Square Neighborhood Council
Neighborhood: Dorchester
Topic Area: Smoke Free Housing
Why did you become involved with the Healthy Community Champions program? I became involved because I want to make a healthier community both currently and in the future. I think it’s important to get involved and do something about making your community a healthier one.
What are you hoping to accomplish? My big goal is to get all of Dorchester to become smoke free. As a first step, I’m hoping to promote smoke free housing in Dorchester.

Joseph Kebartas

JosephAge: 66
Organization: South Boston Collaborative Advisory Network
Neighborhood: South Boston
Topic Areas: Active Transit, Healthy Food and Beverage Promotion, and Smoke-Free Housing
Why did you become involved with the Healthy Community Champions program? I grew up in South Boston and I really love my neighborhood. Unfortunately, there’s not much community left in South Boston, and part of the reason I became involved with the HCC initiative is to help build community in South Boston. I would like to see more integration between the housing projects and the residential area. I also volunteer a lot with different organizations in South Boston, and I think this journey of becoming an HCC will help me connect all the different groups which I belong to.
What are you hoping to accomplish? Obesity is a terrible problem in Boston. I’ll be working to promote healthy foods and beverages with the hope of getting people to eat healthier and reduce the impact of obesity on our community.

Brianna MacDonald

BriannaAge: 20
Organization: Harbor Health Services/ Neponset Health Center
Neighborhood: South Dorchester
Topic Area: Active Transit
Why did you become involved with the Healthy Community Champions program? As an exercise and health science major, I’ve always really enjoyed helping people achieve healthy and active lifestyles. I hope to share knowledge about overcoming barriers to eating healthfully and staying physically active. I want to teach people that making minor modifications, in their diet or physical activity, can lead to major changes in their overall health.
What are you hoping to accomplish? I’m hoping to get to know my community better, as this is my third year living here as well as going to school at UMass Boston. I’m also hoping to get more involved in my community as well as better the lives of my neighborhood members. I feel passionate about learning about the struggles of living in South Dorchester and want to make changes in my community to lessen those struggles.

Raul D. Perez

RaulAge: 15
Organization: Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition
Neighborhood: Mattapan
Topic Area: Active Transit
Why did you become involved with the Healthy Community Champions program? I want to help my community and make society healthier. I want to help others learn the benefit the community has given them.
What are you hoping to accomplish? I’m hoping to help my community and gain knowledge about healthy behaviors.

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