HealthCorps “Coordinators” carry out unique in-school and community programming targeting high-need populations. Coordinators are recent college graduates who defer entry into medical school or graduate health programs to serve a two-year full time, paid, assignment at a designated public high school.

This can be a good way to gain experience, make a difference, and do something unique if you plan on having time before starting professional school. 


Dr. Oz, Dr. Myron Wentz, and Dave Wentz discuss USANA’s dedication to health and how it led to the partnership between USANA and HealthCorps. - Dr. Oz with USANA’s Founder and CEO

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Aviation High School blossoms

Roni Eldridge and Joan Burress have been leading teacher and staff meditations from 1:00 to 1:30, and meditations with the exceptionally well-focused students of Aviation High School (could it be, at least in part, because they already can picture their future profession in the field of aviation?)  from 1:30 through 1:50 in the Principal’s Conference Room for about five months through our connection made by the  professional and personable Health Corps Coordinator, Cynthia Mafla.

 For about five weeks, a teacher, Evelyn Tavares had been attending every session and going into a deep, still place inside of herself each time, often to the point of being last to open her eyes considerably later than all others present.  Last week, she invited us to start coming to her class to lead her students in meditation.  The deep respect that Ms. Tavares’ students had for her became quite apparent when she quietly and nonconfrontingly walked near two boys who were distracted; the proximity of her presence resulted in them immediately and easily re-joining their classmates, 31 students in all, in what appeared to be the same deep, still place that we had seen her enjoy many times.  It was a successful, promising beginning.  

We then went to the Principal’s Conference Room to lead the staff in meditation.  Five of us were present in all.  Afterward, all reported feeling calmer, clearer.  Lastly, 12 students entered for the student meditation.  Two boys who came who’d come last week and giggled and exchanged looks through one third of the session, returned this week, and managed to settle into stillness more quickly.  As we ended the meditative state, we put our right hand, then our left, above our head to feel the coolness, etc.  In this exceptional school, though it was the first meditation for many, almost all of the students exuberantly reported feeling the reinforcing energy as cool, heat or tingling above their heads.  

We challenged them to try meditation at home each day, return next Thursday, and tell us their experiences.

Weirdest creation yet. Used the interesting ingredients from #healthcorps today and made gluten-free banana chia seed peanut butter pancakes. They were actually really tasty AND #healthy.

HealthCorps and Drug Free America Foundation Host National Poster Contest for Students: Winner Announced

New York, NY – On Friday, April 25th HealthCorps and the Drug Free America Foundation announced the winner of their national poster contest: “Don’t Waste Your Life Away, It’s Not Worth It” by Lesly Garcia (12th grade) of Cabrillo High School in Long Beach, California.

In March, HealthCorps partnered with the Drug Free America Foundation to create a poster contest opened to students at all 62 HealthCorps high schools. Students were challenged with creating a poster warning their peers about the dangers of drug use. The top 10 posters were posted online, where the public could vote for their favorite three, and then a panel of judges from HealthCorps selected the winner based on thoroughness, accuracy, visual effectiveness and originality.

HealthCorps awarded second place to “The More You Use, The More You Lose” by Porfirio Barrera (12th grade), also of Cabrillo High School. The third place winner was “The Art Is Your Drug” by Diletta Pavolini (11th grade) of Ardmore High School in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

The winner will receive an iPad Mini, and their poster will be featured on the HealthCorps website as well as the Students Taking Action Not Drugs (STAND) website (, along with the second place winner’s poster, as STAND’s national 2014 spring campaign. The STAND posters will be available in different formats so that other schools may customize and print them out for display.

“We are thrilled at the results of this collaboration,” says HealthCorps Vice President of Education, Karen Buonocore. “The amount of submissions we received from students, and the response we received from the public, show how effectively art and health education can partner to create awareness around important issues.”

“Since substance abuse negatively impacts the developing brain, peer to peer engagement is extremely important in furthering awareness on the dangers of drugs. All the posters were fabulous and the contest was a complete success. Congratulations to our winners. It was a pleasure to partner with HealthCorps to educate America’s youth,” says Calvina Fay, Executive Director of Drug Free America Foundation, Inc.

About HealthCorps

HealthCorps® is a 501 (c) 3 founded in 2003 by heart surgeon and Daytime Emmy Award-winning host Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife Lisa to combat the childhood obesity crisis. HealthCorps® is building a nationwide movement to shape a new generation.

HealthCorps® “Coordinators” lead unique in-school and community programming designed to foster physical and mental fitness, particularly among high-need populations. The Coordinators serve as peer-mentors who deliver a progressive curriculum in nutrition, exercise and mental strength to more than 40,000 students. For more than a decade, the HealthCorps program has inspired its participants to adopt a healthier lifestyle. HealthCorps’ 62 schools in 13 states and DC serve as “Living Labs” to explore and find solutions to the complex, underlying causes of the obesity crisis, as well as discover, communicate, implement and advocate for national and regional solutions.

In the fall of 2012, HealthCorps introduced HealthCorps University, a new “train the trainer” professional development program that makes the HealthCorps principles and curriculum available to virtually any school. Through HealthCorps University and the Coordinator program, HealthCorps hopes to have a presence in 100 schools by 2015.

You can follow HealthCorps on Twitter and on Facebook.

About Drug Free America Foundation, Inc.

Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. is a national and international drug policy organization promoting effective sound drug policies, education and prevention.

STAND is a division of Drug Free America Foundation that aims to empower students from high school and college campuses to be leaders in advocating healthy life choices through web-based campaigns.