Placement: Department of Parks and Recreation

What I Worked On: The Mayors Wellness Council identified a need to conduct a pilot initiative that spoke to community based wellness programs. I was responsible for piloting the project in 12 different communities in Houston. Research and implementation were the primary objectives for the initiatives. The Neighborhood Wellness Teams were piloted through the Parks and Recreation Department, and the Mayors Wellness Council had ownership over the initiative. My work consisted of going into the 12 regional pilot sites and identifying individuals who were interested in the program, conducting brainstorming sessions with community stakeholders, planning and executing events and evaluating the success of the overall initiatives. My entire role can be summarized as “Galvanized the citizens of Houston around community wellness”.

Hometown: Houston, TX

School: Southern University of Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, LA

Field of Study: Social Science (B.A.). I took a leave of absence from a Masters Degree program in Social Science at Southern University to participate in this Fellowship.

Selected Honors: 2007 United States Marine Corps Student Achievement Award, 2007 Louisiana College Brother of the Year award from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Selected Activities and Community Involvement: 2006-2007 Southern University Student Government Association President, NAACP member

Prior Work Experience: Policy Intern, Governor’s Office, Baton Rouge, LA

Why Houston is important to me: I lived my entire life (except for attending college) on the Southwest side of Houston in the Aleif community. Living in a city like Houston, you learn that community service is not something you do because it looks good on your resume, but because it is part of your civic duty.

Something unique about me: For the past 150 years on my father’s side of the family, Niiobli has been the name given to the first-born son. My father broke this tradition and gave his first-born son a different name; he said he always knew that at a very old age he would have one last son to pass the name on to.

What am I doing now:  I am a Program Coordinator at CAN-DO Houston, a Houston nonprofit dedicated to combating obesity, where I work on many of the initiatives I began as a Fellow.  I recently completed my Masters Degree at Southern University.  Previously I was a Policy and Community Strategist for Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis.