Gina Watters

Program + Project Manager
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About Gina

Hometown: Grand Haven, Mich.

Education: BA, Communications, Public Relations Specialization, Michigan State University

Hobbies: I’m a volunteer mentor in the Women’s Empowerment program through Heartland Alliance’s Refugee & Immigrant Community Services. It’s a really enjoyable and meaningful opportunity to help a refugee woman and her family engage with their new community here in the U.S. I also do a lot of writing, including participating in the Chicago live lit scene. I have read my work in every possible venue from bookstores to tattoo parlors.

Who are you?

I’m the Development Coordinator. I support Rochelle and the development team on campaigns, events and other aspects of HSC’s fundraising initiatives.

What makes your job great?

Everyone at HSC is so dedicated to the mission of the organization and it’s satisfying to work with such motivated people. I enjoy using my background in nonprofits and applying the skills I’ve honed to help HSC achieve its goals. I also love the social justice aspects of HSC’s work and that the focus is on children; here in our own Chicago communities and throughout the country. It’s very rewarding to be part of an organization working on issues related to racial and socioeconomic disparities.

When did you come to Healthy Schools Campaign?

August 2015. After spending several years at a nonprofit that provides resources for families and communities in rural villages in Afghanistan, and empowers them to build a better future for themselves and their children. Although the focus of that organization was outside the U.S., I find that the guiding principal is much the same regardless of where someone may live: that equitable access to resources is transformational. Meaningful progress in any community depends on first achieving fundamentals like nutritious food, clean water and a safe, healthy environment where children can learn and grow to be future leaders.

Where does your motivation come from?

I grew up in a household where healthy food and plenty of activity were valued. I often think of my mom saying, “Something green at every meal”, and my parents insisted on things like limited screen time and lots of time playing outdoors. That foundation of health has benefited me as an adult in countless ways, and will continue to benefit me my entire life. I believe that every child deserves that same foundation, and I’m motivated to help make that happen.

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