Perfect, Just the Way You Are

LEN - childhood obesityMichelle Dickinson-Moravek always had a commitment to making a difference for young people, so when the time came to choose a project in Landmark’s Self-Expression and Leadership Program, it wasn’t hard for her to choose a direction. Her project, ‘Perfect Just the Way You Are’, is making an expanding impact on the health and well-being of young people in the United Sates, and may soon expand even beyond that.

Her project began with a focus on improving children’s health and well-being from two connected angles: education about diet and exercise, and a program which addresses self-confidence and self-love. This education addresses two issues which affect many children today: obesity and bullying. Michelle sees these issues as going hand in hand, as overweight children are far more likely to be bullied.

She envisioned a program with elements on diet, exercise, protecting oneself, leadership, and self-expression. There were many obstacles along the way, and Dickinson-Moravek said it took all of her passion to remain unstoppable when things weren’t going well. A huge challenge for her was when she was faced with giving the project away. She spoke to Johnson & Johnson about taking on the project, and was flabbergasted when they said yes. The catch: they needed her to stay on to support and manage it.

The first pilot program was delivered in Patterson, New Jersey, in eight sessions to 54 participants in the 5th through 7th grades. It was a huge success. Students overwhelmingly loved the activities, and teachers and the principal told her in interviews that the culture of the school was changing in a healthier way.

In 2014, Johnson & Johnson is bringing the program to two Pennsylvania schools and two San Diego schools and is looking to expand even further than that, after all the deliverables are tested, even to Mexico. Dickinson-Moravek now just supports the new project leaders with whatever is needed.

“Holy smokes!” she says, looking back on what she’s created. “I’m in awe of people and what’s possible.”

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4 thoughts on “Perfect, Just the Way You Are

  • April 19, 2014 at 11:01 pm
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    Saying it took all her 'passion' to keep going doesn't really tell us what distinctions she used from the course to achieve her goal. These stories tell us what happened but they rarely provide insight into why it happened; what shifted in someone that they were able to take on these projects and be successful. I'd love to hear what from the course made this projects possible.

  • April 24, 2014 at 6:49 pm
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    Cort – Here are a few examples for you! The Case for Action afforded me to enroll my company into taking on the program. Being a stand for something bigger than myself and being committed to the outcome when I was told there was no money for the program. Being unstoppable and making bold requests for the money and going to the highest levels of the organization for that support. Planning my work, and working my plan afforded me to stay in action and continue to move the project forward. And finally, always coming from my ultimate commitment and allowing it to pull me forward instead of listening to people tell me it was not possible. Does that help add some context? : )

  • June 28, 2014 at 10:39 pm
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    Michelle Dickinson Thanks Michelle – You took a stand for something bigger than yourself, you declared that you were unstoppable – both of those enabled you to make bold requests for money. At the same time you did the groundwork – made the plans and kept in action that way. That's great stuff – inspiring for me. Thanks for spelling it out.

  • June 28, 2014 at 10:39 pm
    Permalink

    Michelle Dickinson Thanks Michelle – You took a stand for something bigger than yourself, you declared that you were unstoppable – both of those enabled you to make bold requests for money. At the same time you did the groundwork – made the plans and kept in action that way. That's great stuff – inspiring for me. Thanks for spelling it out.

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