Angelica Haro was named the recipient of this year's $1,000 NPAA Award, in recognition of her outstanding accomplishments and her goal to continue to make a difference in people's lives through her nonprofit work.
This outstanding student will graduate this summer with a Master's degree in Kinesiology. While working on her Master's, Haro held a job as a Health Educator at Worksite Wellness LA -- a nonprofit organization that provides health access information to low-income employees in the downtown Los Angeles area. Not only does she work for a nonprofit, she also founded and is the Executive Director of Shoes For Sonrisas (Shoes For Smiles).
"Last year, I decided to bridge charitable giving and health promotion by establishing Shoes For Sonrisas," said Haro. "Our mission is to provide gently worn athletic shoes to underprivileged individuals living abroad." As a 10-time marathon runner, Haro has gone through more than her share of running shoes. Runners replace their shoes frequently -- often with plenty of wear left in them -- while in training. So Angelica decided to collect gently worn shoes and put them to good use by redistributing them to people who have none. She adds, "Another important component to Shoes For Sonrisas is the health promotion piece, Healthy Soles. Healthy Soles is a program that promotes regular physical activity as well as offers quality health education to youngsters and adults alike in local, low-income communities."
Haro's grassroots effort has been recognized at local City Council meetings, in newspapers and at major running events. The NPAA award will be of significant help toward her goal of implementing a nutrition and physical activity program for youth this summer.
When asked how she felt about receiving this award, Haro said, "This was a great feeling, being that this scholarship symbolizes exceptional leadership in the community. I am very grateful to the committee for being awarded such a great honor."
Not only does she currently work for a nonprofit and has started her own nonprofit, Haro also has worked for several nonprofit organizations, including: the Anaheim Memorial Medical Center, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, and the American Cancer Society.
Haro looks forward to continuing to work in the health/fitness promotion and education fields. In October, she plans to become a Certified Health Education Specialist. In the future, she plans on obtaining a doctoral degree in Pedagogy to enhance her ability to develop, implement and assess quality health education programs for specific communities.
"To students and other individuals, make your passion your profession and everything will fall into place! I did it and you can too!"
NPAA Awards are supported by contributions from alumni and others who want to encourage CSUF students to pursue careers or service in the nonprofit sector.