Alex Mays

Senior National Program Director

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About Alex

Hometown: Oakland, California

Education: BA, Neuroscience, Pomona College | Master of Health Science, Johns Hopkins University

Hobbies: I love being active, especially hiking and basketball. I played basketball and softball in college and still play for fun whenever I can. I also spend a lot of time chasing after my young son who keeps me very busy.

Who are you?

I am HSC’s Senior National Program Director. I work on national and state policies related to school food, physical activity, school health services and environmental health. I love being able to work on so many different issues and learn about all the different ways schools can help support student health and wellness. A big part of my job is working with states and partner organizations across the country to support this work.

What makes your job great?

I love working for an organization that has a mission I believe in and people who are committed to the same cause. I’ve learned so much from working at Healthy Schools Campaign and learn more every day and enjoy being in an environment that enables me to do this. One of my favorite things about working for HSC is that so much of our national and state policy work is informed by our work in Chicago. It helps me stay grounded and understand how the policies we’re advocating for will impact the communities and people we work with in Chicago.

I also really enjoy working with other states to leverage new policy opportunities to support student health and school wellness. For example, a big part of my role is supporting states in leveraging Medicaid funding to expand access to school health services. We know school health services can play a really important role in supporting the health and achievement of children but not all students have regular access to health services in schools. Working with states to implement innovative strategies that bring in more funding for school health services and ultimately lead to more students having access to care in schools is exciting and very rewarding.

When did you come to Healthy Schools Campaign?

I worked at HSC as a graduate school intern during the summer of 2009. I became really interested in school health during the internship and returned to graduate school and took every class I could find related to school health. I joined HSC full time in August 2010 after I’d finished graduate school.

Why did you join Healthy Schools Campaign?

When I interned at HSC I was immediately drawn to the mission and work of the organization and didn’t want the summer internship to end. It was wonderful to be able to work with a group of smart, like-minded people for a cause I believed in and I knew I wanted to come back if they’d let me. Lucky for me they did!

Where does your motivation come from?

I’ve always been passionate about healthy living and feel lucky to work for an organization that helps make sure people have the opportunity to eat healthy food, be physically active and learn in a healthy environment. I also love working for and with kids. Kids aren’t always able to advocate for themselves, so I feel lucky to be able to speak for them and push for them to have the best opportunities possible. I know that our work can have a direct impact on kids across the country which makes coming into work every day easy.