(Above - Over 400 males of all ages gather for the 14th Annual Wellness Breakfast for Men which provides them with the tools and resources to take charge of their health)
As of July 1, 2011, Universal Companies welcomed a long-time community partner to the Universal family. The Wellness of You, Inc., a non-profit health promotion organization founded by Faatimah Gamble, partnered with us for fifteen years to bring preventative health education to our students, families and neighbors. Programs we collaborated on included: children’s health fairs; wellness symposiums for men; youth out-of-school-time programs; the creation and management of a community garden; health-based research studies; and a wellness expo at which we honored medical professionals with the “Tree of Life Award” for their ongoing commitment to community health.
Because Universal values what this partnership has brought to the community, we have decided to officially merge our efforts moving forward. Effective immediately we instituted a wellness department within our corporate division. This department will ensure that Universal infuses health consciousness into all of our community development endeavors. Current programs will grow as we also create new and innovative initiatives to serve our clients.
You can expect to see extensive wellness resources and education directly within our Universal Family of Schools as well as our residential housing units. School-based assemblies, wellness workshops, healthy cooking demonstrations and community-wide “Walks for Wellness” are just a few examples of programs we have in store for the upcoming 2011-2012 academic year. Long term, we also plan to address the growing issues of limited access to affordable healthcare and fresh food in urban settings in order to combat the health disparities that disproportionately affect minorities in these low-income areas.
Universal’s leadership is excited about its decision to expand upon our existing wellness efforts; thereby building healthy individuals, families and communities!