Live Well Omaha Kids is excited to have two awesome interns supporting our collective work. This week we’d like to introduce Ashley Carroll:

As a graduate intern for Live Well Omaha Kids, I am turning my passion for improving the lives of children and families into practice through collaborative efforts in policy, systems and environmental change. Years of working in health promotion, as well as firsthand experience as a busy working mother of three children, have taught me that raising healthy kids takes a village. The decisions that we make about our health are unconsciously influenced by external factors. Whether or not we have a grocery store with fresh produce near our home, how often students are allowed to play at recess and exercise in PE at school, as well as parents’ work schedules and the feasibility of healthy home-cooked meals- all play a role in whether or not we are successful in leading a healthy lifestyle.

To support Live Well Omaha Kids’ mission of reducing and preventing childhood obesity in the Greater Omaha Metro, I am coordinating a Safe Routes to School pilot project with the Christian Urban Education Service, known as the CUES schools, which include All Saints, Holy Name, and Sacred Heart. I am working with our Live Well Omaha Kids coalition partners to advocate for local policies that will promote healthy weight status in youth. And finally, I am supporting Live Well Omaha Kids’ efforts in building internal capacity for advocacy, fundraising and evaluation within their Partners for Healthy Schools program.

I earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. I recognized early on in my career that traditional consumer product marketing strategies had significant practical applications for health promotion, so I decided to pursue a Master’s in Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. In my tenure at the College of Public Health, I am honored to have been selected as a two- time recipient of the Weitz Foundation Public Health Workforce Expansion Scholarship Award, which recognizes individuals for their contributions in the field of public health, as well as their potential as a public health leader. I look forward to putting the skills I have honed in my graduate studies to work at Live Well Omaha Kids, ensuring all children grow up eating healthy and staying active, as those are the building blocks for a lifetime of good health.