Officials with America Walks announced on Tuesday that the Paso del Norte Health Foundation’s Jana Renner has been awarded a Walking College Fellowship as part of the 2019 program.
America Walks is a national advocacy organization working with communities to create safe, accessible, and enjoyable places to walk.
“I am thrilled to be chosen to participate in the Walkable Communities training program and to learn about ways to increase opportunities for our residents to be more active,” said Ms. Renner.
Ms. Renner is a program officer at the Health Foundation and works with partners in the Healthy Eating and Active Living initiative.
“The Health Foundation recently completed a master plan of a 60-mile Paso del Norte trail to connect communities and promote health and active living. I look forward to connecting what I learn to efforts to expand trails and walkability in our community,” Renner added.
The Fellowship will enable Ms. Renner and other advocates from around the country to participate in a five-month training program designed to strengthen local efforts to make communities more walkable and livable.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Renner as a member of the Walking College,” said Emilie Bahr, Walking College Manager with America Walks, “This year’s application process was extremely competitive and rich with unique professionals, and she will make a fitting addition to our 2019 class. We look forward to developing her skills and are excited to see her grow her knowledge, share experiences, and prepare plans to expand her work for bolstering walkability at home.”
Ms. Renner will complete a six-module distance-education training program this summer, followed by an independent study project in El Paso. Participants will also engage with the national network of America Walks and meet one another and other walking champions at various events throughout the year.
The Walking College curriculum has been designed to expand the capacity of local advocates to be effective community change agents. Topics include the science behind the benefits of walking, evaluation of built environments, as well as communication skills and building relationships with stakeholders and decision makers.
Fellows work with other members of their class and a set of experienced mentors to develop the knowledge and skills needed to create community change.
At the conclusion of the Walking College, Fellows will develop a Walking Action Plan for implementation using their new skills.