ABOUT Dawn

Hello! As the Founder of Well Together Now, I am grateful that you decided to visit the site and learn about our mission to grow a WELLcommunity. Allow me to take this opportunity to introduce myself and tell you about my journey.

MY PROFESSIONAL PATH

My path, marked by multiple revisions, is perpetually driven by two themes. First and foremost, writing is a constant in both my personal and professional life. From journaling and poetry to research and blogging, the written word is a cathartic, creative, and professional outlet. My passion for teaching runs parallel.

The majority of my career has been in education, where I worked for years as an elementary special educator as well as a special education administrator. After more than a decade in public education, I took a risk to pursue an entrepreneurial avenue. My experience as both an educator and a writer created a natural bridge to consulting and curriculum development. A perpetual student, I grew my credentials to include: USA Track & Field-L1, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Interscholastic Coach, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Incorporating my experience and passion for all things wellness, I began crafting my vision for what would become Well Together Now.

MY WHY

As a child who struggled with depression and anxiety, I lacked a mentor or coach who could help me process in difficult times. I never talked with a therapist or verbally addressed my compulsive worry with my parents. Other than complaining about an occasional bellyache, I remained quiet about my inner struggles. To reduce my anxiety, I engaged in some physical rituals that seemed “quirky” to my family. As an adolescent, I remained quiet, turned inward, and wrote page after page in my journal as I tried to purge my fear and sadness. All of it came back to two themes: low self-esteem and a sense of feeling out of control.

Parallel to feeling a lack of control, I lacked an awareness when it came to how I treated my body. Growing up, like many adolescents, I was naive about the implications of food and exercise and their impact on my mind and body. Fear of risk-taking, failure, and physical discomfort meant I avoided organized sports. My understanding of heath linked falsely to thinness. Case in point: I weighed 90 pounds in junior high. My lunch for almost two years consisted of chocolate milk, “Hot Fries,” and an oversized chocolate chip cookie.

Fast forward, these habits did not change much until I was in my 30s. As an adult, I continued to face anxiety and depression but sought to manage in various ways. I tried therapy. I became more aware of my choices as I began to shop and cook for myself. I tried numerous workout routines, gym memberships, and group classes.

Long story short, while not a cure-all, I eventually found that my diet quality and activity levels tied to an ability to keep my head above water. Running and balanced nutrition became essential ingredients to my overall well-being. Writing and sharing in a safe community have also become keys to my wellness.

MY GOALS

Much of my mission is driven by past personal experiences. Well Together Now aims to grow a WELLcommunity from the ground up through youth wellness programs. WTN curricula foster overall wellness through lenses of social-emotional learning, health literacy, and social justice education. Programs also focus on the interrelationship between connectedness and being well. 

On my blog, you will find posts on all things wellness, as well as SEL and physcial activities from the Well Together at Home series. Consider the blog an open-ended invitation to engage in the community conversation. Together we build rapport and empower one another each time we MEET here.

The WTN site is a platform for education, consulting, and mutual support. Through the years, I have succeeded because I sought resources and created a network of supporters. With Well Together Now, my goal is to extend that support to reach youth and educators.

I am most eager to grow the WELLcommunity, as I believe that this is where the power lies: not with me, but in the “WE.” Together we are stronger. Thus, the symbolism behind the WTN logo.

Be well,

Dawn

 

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