SOSMentor created its first nutrition education and physical activity program in 2006 in response to the concerns of Belmont High School students, who told SOSMentor educators that their biggest fear was the devastating effects of obesity on themselves, their family members and their friends. In response, SOSMentor developed the ShapeUp program, in which high school students learn about healthy eating habits and exercise. Class participants then mentor elementary school students in activities that promote healthy lifestyles.
SOSMentor now brings nutrition and physical activity education programs to over 28,000 underserved, low-income children and teens throughout the greater Los Angeles area. A team of experienced education and public health professionals develops programs that promote youth leadership and advocacy, and effectively guide young people to make healthier lifestyle choices. We partner with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Beyond the Bell Branch after school programs, the USC Keck School of Medicine, and the Pepperdine, CSUN and CSULA nutrition and public health departments to ensure that the highest quality instruction is delivered to the greatest number of students possible.
In 2011, SOSMentor expanded its reach by partnering with LAUSDís Beyond the Bell Branch to launch the Healthy Schools Campaign, teaching nutrition to over 14,000 students in 700 schools.
In 2013, SOSMentor added educating high school athletes in sports nutrition to its repertoire with the Healthy Athletes Program.
In the fall of 2014, SOSMentor partnered with the USC Keck School of Medicine in a three-year National Institutes of Health study that introduced mindfulness and stress-reduction concepts into its ShapeUp program. To reflect the wider scope of the program, it was renamed Imagine HEALTH (Healthy Eating, Active Living, Total Health).
In 2015, SOSMentorís Take Action for a Healthy School Community Program joined with Harvard University, UCLA and LAUSD to present SNaX (Students for Nutrition and Exercise), a school-based obesity prevention program based on student leadership.
Most recently, SOSMentor partnered with Dignity Health Northridge Hospital to run the Healthy Kids Kindness Challenge, giving students the skills needed to counteract bullying and intolerance in their schools and communities.
During the 2015-16 school year, SOSMentor served over 28,000 children and teens.
SOSMentorís mission is to empower underserved youth to make healthy choices. We deliver innovative nutrition and fitness education that inspires kids to advocate for health in their schools, families, and communities.