Pam J Hennawi, RD, LD
Pamela is a Registered Dietitian developing and teaching the Nutrition curriculum for the Sprouts Program. She received her Nutrition degree from the University of Minnesota and completed her internship at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.
Pamela’s first job was a clinical dietitian at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore City. While in this position she provided nutrition counseling to adults with health issues that were directly affected by dietary lifestyle habits. The lack of nutrition education in our society and the need to improve this became her mission. In 2005, she took a leave from work to raise her children, but continued to develop professionally receiving her certification in Childhood and Adolescent weight management.
As the mother of three children, she recognizes the importance to start fostering healthy habits at a young age with reinforcement as they grow. When the opportunity to work with Skills4Life and run the Sprouts program in a Baltimore City school, in the same neighborhood as Union Memorial Hospital, she felt this was her opportunity to create real change and make a difference in an under served community. Pam is determined to help children grow up healthy and strong.
Andrea G Dunlap, Pharm.D
Andrea is currently the Principal at Burchell Consulting LLC. As a registered pharmacist, she has worked in various patient health care settings including inpatient, ambulatory, and managed care at Union Memorial Hospital and XLHealth, (an insurance company for the chronically ill based on Baltimore now merged with United Health Care). Within these venues, Andrea saw the effect of nutrition and obesity on chronic illness and its’ effect on the health and wellness of society and individuals struggling with disease. Specifically, while working at XLHealth, which focused on many of the chronic diseases impacted by nutrition and obesity, she saw the larger impact of poor nutrition on population health and health care costs to society, especially those who were economically disadvantaged.
In determining how to focus her health care knowledge into helping others locally the thought of teaching young children in Baltimore about appropriate nutrition appealed to her. Partnering with a previous work colleague, Pam Hennawi and a new colleague, Renee Ziegler, the idea of the Sprouts program and the Charity Skills 4 Life was born.
The amount of obesity and poor nutrition within the US has grown tremendously over the years and we need to create a cultural shift in our entire society about healthy eating to prevent obesity and the significant health care consequences and costs that result. We believe it can happen one child at a time.
Renee Ziegler, CPT
Renee is a personal trainer developing and teaching the fitness curriculum for the Sprouts Program. She is dedicated to teaching kids how much fun exercise can be, and how important it is to stay active in their lives so they can be healthy, and happy adults. Throughout her careers in counseling, photography, and mother of twins, maintaining great fitness has been a key element to her success. Now as a certified personal trainer and a black belt in Karate Renee wants to spread her knowledge of fitness and health.
Jennifer Sachs is a former classroom teacher with a Masters degree in education. Jennifer has been active in several non-profit organizations as a volunteer, supporter and board member. The organizations she is involved with have focused on the education and well being of children in underserved and vulnerable communities, including providing arts and education programs in Baltimore City schools. She was also the former board chair for Baltimore Child Abuse Center where she advocated for children that experienced abuse and other adverse childhood experiences.
Jennifer understands the needs that need to be met of underserved communities and the benefit of educating children in nutrition and physical education and health in order to help children develop the skills to make choices for a healthy lifestyle now and in the future.
Jennifer will use her experiences as an educator, mother, advocate and leader, while a Director for Skills 4 Life Charity, to help children in our surrounding community lead healthier lives by preventing obesity and other health consequences seen with poor nutritional habits.
Michelle Schmidt has served as a classroom teacher in the state of Maryland for 15 years. She has always loved teaching and working with children. As a former educator, her work was primarily focused on academic, behavioral, social and emotional development. The opportunity to help children focus on the equally important nutrition and physical aspects of well- being, is very exciting to her.
Michelle studied Business Management at the University of Delaware and graduated in 2003. After a couple years in the business field, her heart drew her to education. She enrolled at Notre Dame Maryland University where she earned her Masters in Educational Leadership and later earned her Administrative I Certification, which allows her to serve as an assistant principal in the state of Maryland. To date she has taught seven years of fifth grade, five years of fourth grade, one year of first grade and two years of elementary library. All of her experience has been in Harford and Baltimore County Public Schools.
Michelle is currently a stay at home mom and loves taking care of her family, while taking an active role in her daughter’s school and her community. She is excited to make a difference as an educator, team member, and board member for Skills 4 Life!