Today’s edition of Wellness Wednesday highlights the importance of nutrition and wellness education and spotlights five FCS professionals who have validated their competency to provide this education.
One of the primary goals of the Healthy People 2020 initiative is to “increase the quality, availability, and effectiveness of educational and community-based programs designed to prevent disease and injury, improve health, and enhance quality of life.” A critical component of these programs is having professionals who are able to provide high quality, effective nutrition and wellness education in various settings, such as schools, work sites, healthcare and wellness facilities, and communities.
Holding a professional certification demonstrates to the public that you are qualified to work in the nutrition and health promotion/wellness field and shows you keep current in your practice by participating in professional development activities. The Certified Nutrition and Wellness Educator (CNWE) credential, recently launched by AAFCS, was developed in response to this need for nutrition and wellness information and skill development, and the need to ensure that educators, regardless of practice setting or discipline of content background, are highly qualified to teach this subject. AAFCS is pleased to spotlight the CNWE certificants below:
- As President and CEO of her own company, M. Latrell and Company, LLC, Menia Chester works with leaders throughout the United States to solve issues surrounding leadership development, farming, hunger, nutrition education and cooking education. As a vocalist, a health coach, a motivational speaker, and a chef, she teaches others how to live better lives. Menia adds, “This credential helps to validate my expertise . . . my clients are very impressed with the credential and feel very confident of my skills because I have it.”
Secondary Education Spotlight
- Ann Simmons, an Area Extension Agent with North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension, was very excited that AAFCS, with its history and reputation, was offering the opportunity for her to earn this credential. Ann believes, “The credential adds to my credibility as a nutrition educator. I think this is a wonderful opportunity for anyone who is engaged in nutrition education at a professional level."
- Annette Lawler, Extension Educator, Health and Human Sciences/Community Development, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Services, is pleased with the expansion of credentials for the health and nutrition arena. Annette praises the credential for “opening doors with local partners and collaborations and increasing professional options.”
- Melody Weatherford, FCS Teacher at Wren High School in South Carolina, has taught nutrition for many years but wanted something more to show she was qualified to teach this topic. The credential, in addition to her college degrees, really validates her qualifications to parents and colleagues. Melody encourages others to consider earning the credential, “It is well worth the money and time. The test was thorough and rigorous but achievable.”
- On a personal note, Susan Brown, FCS Teacher at Alexander Central High School in North Carolina, acknowledges, “My self-esteem has been boosted by earning the title, CNWE. It has turned into a great opportunity for me.” Susan looks forward to the professional development opportunities that she will engage in to maintain the credential. From classes at her local hospital to webinars, “everything I have attended has and will be useful information for my classroom, as well as, the benefits I have gained for my own personal wellness.”
Thanks to Lori Myers, CFCS, Senior Director, Credentialing, Education & Research for providing the content for this Wellness Wednesday.