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Gimme Five: Jyl Steinback


Health is so much more than physical fitness or just nutrition, and Jyl Steinback of Shape Up US can attest to that very fact. Shape Up US uses a unique mix of expos, in-school programs and a multidisciplinary approach to health in order to transform schools, families and communities through art, music, entertainment, nutrition, emotional health and more. It was difficult to squeeze all the wonderful things Jyl is doing in her personal life as well as in her career as executive director into this short Gimme Five piece, but never fear! Jyl is a Leader, and you can directly message her and get to know her better through her online profile, and by reading on.

Name: Jyl Steinback
Title: Executive Director
Organization: Shape Up US

What inspired you to start working on childhood obesity?
I have always been passionate about building a healthier future for our children. I started when my daughter was 3 years old, going into the classrooms and volunteering by educating the kids, teachers and parents on health and wellness, the mind and emotions – a circle of wellness that works!

How are you helping to reverse childhood obesity?
Shape Up US a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to preventing obesity and empowering children and families to lead healthier, happier lives. Shape Up US provides teachers, children, parents and communities at large with educational tools to create healthy, lifelong habits to improve their overall wellness. With a focus on cardiovascular health, physical exercise, nutrition, and mental and emotional well-being, we accomplish our mission of building healthy futures for our children through a three-pronged approach:AWARENESS! EDUCATION! ACTION!

 Shape Up US is a partner with the President’s Challenge. The goal of the partnership is to develop and implement the Hip Hop Healthy Heart Program for Children, an innovative K-6 grade program with an emphasis on heart health that uses a unique mix of art, music and positive thinking to motivate children to build a foundation of wellness. We also organize health and wellness expos and manage Just Clap for Life, a national fitness campaign with the tagline, “clapping makes physical activity fun.”

What’s your biggest accomplishment so far in helping reduce childhood obesity?
Empowering the children to become healthy and happy adults (mind, body and emotions). The children are our future and they make a difference for themselves and share this healthy lifestyle with the ones they love because they now love themselves.

Who is your role model in your work?
My children are my role models. They were so lucky to never know any different than healthy eating and moving your body. They spread the word to their friends and it was domino effect.  This is why I am so passionate to share the Hip Hop Healthy Heart Program for Children with as many schools, teachers and families as possible. Together we make an enormous difference in our children’s health and wellness.

What healthy snacks did you enjoy growing up?
Air popcorn, frozen grapes and frozen bananas.

Each week, our own Prarthana Gurung speaks with a Leader to get a quick look at why he or she loves working to create healthy environments for kids. Want to take part? Visit Prarthana’s profile and contact her.