Since 100 Citizens began in the city of San Fernando in 2011, it has evolved from a small group of 20 participants to one with more than 100 participants. Due to the program’s successful growth, 100 Citizens will be expanding to three additional Los Angeles parks in Sylmar, La Crescenta and Canoga Park, demonstrating the power of California State University, Northridge’s kinesiology students to make healthy community transformations.
Allowing students to deliver free and sustainable activity agendas to the community in public parks, 100 Citizens creates a career path for aspiring kinesiology professionals who use exercise to help participants between the ages of 18 and 80 lead a healthy, active lifestyle. More than 30 kinesiology majors explore their career options through work with this program each semester.
Through this initiative, students realize they have the potential to change the health of a community. “The 100 Citizens program will be transitioned to a student-empowered model with volunteers and faculty acting only as consultants,” said Steven Loy, the faculty advisor to the program. The impact will be felt in the community for many years ahead.
“With our expansion, we expect the number of positively affected students and participants to rise,” Loy said. “A part of the motivation for student involvement is not only academic credit and tremendous growth experiences, but also the job creation that has occurred in the park system for kinesiology students. I anticipate job creation in the public health sector for kinesiology students, as the program grows and the recognition of the importance of such a program and the value of these students are recognized.”
CSUN kinesiology alumnus Dario Senftleben ’12 won the 2014 President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Community Leadership award for leading the expansion of 100 Citizens. Senftleben is responsible for establishing the infrastructure that has led students to take on an expansion.
“He created a system of growth and leadership among the students to give them the experiences necessary to enhance the quality of the exercise delivery to the community, while providing students with the confidence that they, too, can lead,” Loy said.
Kinesiology students educate adults through exercise to encourage healthier choices at home. The main focus is on adults becoming healthier role models for future generations. The community, participants, students and CSUN as a whole benefit from 100 Citizens.
For more information, visit the 100 Citizens website at http://www.100citizens.org/