First Cohort of LSU Wellness Ambassador Students Successfully Complete Program


In June 2016, the Wellness Ambassador Program (WAP), led by Tracey Rizzuto, assistant director of the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development (SLHRD), expanded its work with Glen Oaks High School to encompass students community-wide, offering a free summer program for local students in “hope zone areas.”

Since 2014, WAP has worked with students at Glen Oaks High School to improve holistic wellness through hands-on classes in a variety of topics, including personal health and wellness, career readiness, and more.

The new summer program included 45 teens ages 14-18 who live in “hope zones,” underserved neighborhoods that show potential and promise. The first group of graduates from the summer youth program were teens from the Gardere neighborhood in partnership with the Gardere Initiative, a city-wide effort to improve the Gardere area through accessible community connections, tutoring and enrichment classes, finance assistance, nutrition and wellness programs, and legal advice. 

The WAP’s summer program is an eight-week program that promotes holistic health through knowledge and education, self-efficacy, and behavior development in nutritional, physical, and professional wellness. The program included cooking and nutrition classes, physical exercise sessions, and classes discussing business and personal etiquette.

The Wellness Ambassador Program is one of six crime prevention strategies adopted through Mayor Kip Holden’s Baton Rouge Hope Zone Initiative, and is offered in three high-need locations throughout the city.  As part of The Hope Zone Baton Rouge Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (Hope Zone BR-BCJI), the Wellness Ambassador Program initiative responds to crime activity and socio-economic drivers of crime with strategic initiatives developed by the City of Baton Rouge and LSU researchers. Dr. Tracey Rizzuto was a key researcher in developing the Strategic Compatibility Assessment Instrument, a novel measurement tool for identifying opportunities for strategic partnering toward identifying patterns of crime and high-crime neighborhoods, improving relationships between communities and law enforcement, and implementing long-lasting positive change in public safety and health.

See a WBRZ feature on the summer program 

The LSU School of Leadership & Human Resource Development (SLHRD) offers programs dedicated to producing world class practitioners, leaders, and instructors in Leadership and Human Resource Development.

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About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The College is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Leadership and Human Resource Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs and 18 graduate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 977 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is continually working to improve its programs.

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