AUSTIN – After ten years of building healthier communities through children's health and science education, today the HealthStart Foundation took another step in its evolution by naming Javier Valdez its Executive Director, effective 10/12/2020.
Valdez joins the organization with 25 years of experience as a corporate executive and nonprofit leader. Professionally, his prior roles have included senior leadership roles at Oracle, Electronic Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and Cisco Systems, Inc., among others. In the community, he’s led several local and national nonprofits, including Breakthrough Central TX, Con Mi Madre and the Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI).
“Our organization operates at a unique intersection of health, community and technology, which is what makes Javier such a great leader to lead us into the future,” said Kate Norton, Board Chair for HealthStart Foundation. “His technology, sales, and operations experience will help us expand the reach of our programs while his nonprofit leadership experience will ensure the technology never overshadows the human connections crucial for any community program.”
A native of El Paso, Texas, and a Central Texas resident for 20 years, Valdez has seen firsthand the importance of empowering communities to take their health into their own hands through education and outreach. Personally, he’s an avid cyclist and believer in the power of community to positively change lives.
According to Valdez, “In both my nonprofit and professional involvement, I’ve been drawn to endeavors where a great idea or product is poised to scale, and that’s what I believe I can bring to HealthStart Foundation. There is so much potential in the organization’s programs, curriculum and resources, and I look forward to partnering with the team to explore how we can share those with broader audiences.”
About HealthStart Foundation
Since 2010, HealthStart Foundation's early, science-based health education programs have set a strong foundation for a healthier tomorrow. HealthStart teaches kids the science behind good health with lessons on how our bodies work and the food and fitness activities to keep every part of the body healthy and strong. HealthStart kids also learn when they care for one another and our environment, they help build healthy communities. To learn more, visit www.healthstartfoundation.org.
AUSTIN - The HealthStart Foundation has received a grant from the Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation, a private foundation based in Austin, TX, in the amount of $7,500 for the continued development of HealthStart’s Snack Science Video Series (SSVS).
“The need for children’s science and health education will not disappear when COVID-19 is under control. In fact, this pandemic has only emphasized the urgency for ensuring our kids have the tools to understand how their bodies work and the importance of taking care of themselves with sound health practices.” explains founder Robin Herskowitz.
This grant will help expand the SSVS library and continue the development of accompanying materials for educators to easily incorporate the SSVS program in their elementary school science, health, and physical education classrooms. The SSVS has extended HealthStart's reach outside of Central Texas, to 48 states and 18 countries, increasing their impact more than ever before.
The videos' health-science lessons explain how to prevent disease and maintain physical and mental wellbeing. Teachers and parents will find science experiments, physical activities, snack recipes, and opportunities for students to practice new skills like putting on a mask or maintaining proper social distance.
To learn more about HealthStart’s Snack Science Video Series, visit www.healthstartfoundation.org/snackscience
About Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation: The Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation makes grants to qualified non-profit organizations serving 50 specific counties in south and central Texas. They award grants for arts/culture, charitable, education, literacy, medical and scientific purposes.