Rhonika is the CEO and founder of the Share My Kickz Foundation, which provides free shoes to children who are primary or secondary victims of domestic violence. The foundation also aims to build healthy relationships through family activities to build kids’ self-esteem, character and confidence, including by helping youngsters be physically active outdoors during the spring and the summer months. It’s the perfect fit for Rhonika: As a former head of a summer camp, she knows just what to do to keep kids moving outside.
What inspired you to start working on childhood obesity?
After running a summer camp last year for 40 children, I noticed first-hand how much the children enjoyed playing outside and hated going back inside the building (unless it was too hot outside). I decided that [I wanted] to create a summer camp free of charge that provided children an outlet to remain physically active while staying fit and healthy all throughout the spring and summer months.
How are you helping to reverse childhood obesity?
Share My Kickz Foundation is providing fun physical activities throughout the spring and summer that encourage children to stay healthy by eating the proper food and staying physically fit. We are providing healthy cooking classes and educating parents on making healthier meal plans for their families.
What’s your biggest accomplishment so far in helping reduce childhood obesity?
My biggest accomplishment so far is introducing children to sports and various physical activities that improve their health and physical activities while encouraging them to eat healthy.
Who is your role model in your work?
My role model has definitely been our First Lady Michelle Obama!!! I absolutely love watching her spread the word about the Let’s Move movement and how she is devoted to motivating our youth into staying fit.
What healthy snacks did you enjoy growing up? Did you play any sports?
As a child growing up, I enjoyed snacking on Wheat Thins and apple slices. I played soccer from the age of 5 to 21, and was considered a great athlete.
Each week, our own Zach Brooks 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 Zach’s profile and contact him.
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Leaders are people who are actively working - either professionally or as volunteers - to change policies and environments to help children eat better and be more active. We use the following criteria to evaluate whether to approve an applicant for Leader status with the Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center.
Do you meet the criteria below? If so, register as a Leader here. There is no cost to be a Leader.
At least one item must be checked within each of the following two categories:
1. Applicant is focused on changing policies and environments
They are working on one of Voices for Healthy Kid's six issue areas:
Ensure foods and beverages in schools meet dietary guidelines
Expand community access to high quality food
Expand physical activity programs in and out of school
Improve built environment in communities to increase physical activity
Use pricing strategies to promote purchase of healthier foods
Use regulation/policy to reduce youth exposure to unhealthy food marketing
They are working on other obesity-related issues, such as:
Their primary focus is working on individual behavior (e.g., teaching kids about food, play, etc.), but they have access to organizations that could provide opportunities to change environments, such as
Public Health Agencies
Their project is commercial, but contributes positively to changing policies and environments, such as:
2. Applicant is organizing others or contributing to organizing efforts
They are organizing others by:
Providing volunteer opportunities
Building contact lists of supporters to engage in advocacy
They provide support to organizations or leaders doing work changing policies and environments, such as:
They are a leader in a governmental body that may be the target of organizing efforts to change policies and environments, such as a:
Federal or state agency
Mayor or other local executive office
Federal, state, county or local public health department
Federal, state, county or transportation department
Federal, state or local education agency or school board
If the applicant claims to work for an organization, at least one item must be checked below:
3. Applicant works for an organization:
Has an email address that matches the domain of the organization they list
Is listed on the organization website as staff
The Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center is looking for bloggers who can write about issues that matter to our community on a regular basis. If you would like to be considered for this network, please check this box.