Champions Moment-February 2013
Christine Smigel lives in Keene and became a Champion on September 10th, 2012 where she made the pledge to live, share, model and inspire the Vision 2020 initiative. Christine is from Stratford, CT and currently a senior at Keene State College where she is majoring in Community Health. She is also an employee at the Keene State Recreation Gym as a Facility Supervisor as well as the president of the Advocates for Healthy Communities club and Organizational Champion at Keene State College.
Christine became a Champion because she has spent the last four years of her college career passionate about improving the health of her community in Keene, NH. “I joined as a Champion when Linda Rubin, the Director of Vision 2020, was a guest speaker in my Community Health class. She was very enthusiastic and passionate about her work with the Healthiest Community Initiative and I was intrigued - I immediately wanted to help! The goal for Cheshire County to be the healthiest community in the nation by the year 2020 was perfect and I wanted to be a part of making this happen”, says Christine.
Through her role in health and wellness on the Keene State College campus, Christine plays a big role in helping improve the health of her community. “As a Champion and a senior at Keene State College, I felt the need to get my peers involved in this goal. I am the President of the Advocates for Healthy Communities club on campus and decided to take the initiative to have our club become Organizational Champions and volunteers for Vision 2020 and the Champions program”, says Christine. She has also been a Champion peer educator on campus working with fellow Champion, Tiffany Mathews, and has supported the Champions program at KSC, the “KSC Champions”. “Both of these programs allowed me to work with my college peers in supporting healthier lifestyle habits. Working directly with my peers made it easier for me to explain and get the word about the mission of Vision 2020 and the Champions program and has allowed others to get involved as well!”
Christine sees the Champions program not only making Cheshire County the healthiest community in the nation by 2020, but also becoming even more united together as a community. She feels that the “connections and bonds that have been made through this program have been extremely inspiring and are helping everyone in our community work together as one to make this initiative happen.” “I see that these missions and goals not only impact the health of others, but make the community come together to help one another.”
“I believe it’s up to the youth of Keene to make a difference”, Christine says. “This is a great community of which Keene State College is a big part.” Christine feels that “we all can make this Vision happen and if we engage the community’s youth, we can break unhealthy habits of the past, improve the quality of life moving forward, and carry these values into the future, wherever we go. I invite the youth of Keene to join me and together, we can make this Vision a reality!”