100 Citizens – a California State University, Northridge student-powered program developed through the Department of Kinesiology that educates adults through exercise to encourage healthier choices at home – has partnered with San Fernando Valley-based nonprofit Meet Each Need with Dignity (MEND) to provide a free introductory exercise program to community members.
Kinesiology students will offer a two-hour exercise class to MEND clients every Wednesday thru May 6. The program is designed to provide MEND community members with an introductory experience of the free 100 Citizens programs, which take place three days per week.
“It makes sense for us to combine our resources to improve the health of the citizens in the northeast Valley,” said kinesiology professor Steven Loy, the program’s faculty advisor. “We are reaching people with our free program that either can’t afford or don’t belong to other structured programs or simply don’t know where to start and progress with their exercise program.”
Kinesiology students have also developed a diabetes prevention program that combines exercise and information aimed at combating obesity through education and physical activity.
“We are deeply committed to partnering with individuals and organizations that are dedicated to improving the health of our community,” said Andrea Banuelos, MEND medical clinic assistant manger. “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with 100 Citizens. We look forward to seeing our partnership flourish!”
Since 100 Citizens began in 2011 in a public park in the city of San Fernando, it has evolved from a small group of 20 participants to one with more than 100 participants. The program proved to be so popular that it has expanded to three additional Los Angeles parks in Sylmar, La Crescenta and Canoga Park.
Loy said that 100 Citizens is committed to broadening the scope of their program outreach and will be conducting a workshop designed to spread the model throughout the CSU system.
“Our kinesiology students now represent the second-largest department at CSUN and together have the capacity to change the health of the citizens in the San Fernando Valley,” Loy said.
100 Citizens has been recruited as part of a Center for Disease Control REACH grant to re-create their program in two South Los Angeles locations beginning this summer.
For more information about 100 Citizens, visit its website at www.100citizens.org. Please visit http://mendpoverty.org/ if you would like more information about the community programs offered through MEND.