Focus Areas: Obesity & The Food System
YMCA of Metropolitan Washington
Tessa started out as an intern for the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington during her final semester of college. Following graduation, she was hired as a part-time nutrition educator, teaching children about nutrition and how to cook healthy food. Soon after she was promoted to Nutrition Education Program Manager, where she increased nutrition education to all YMCA sites and established the Community Table program, spearheading efforts to expand it to multiple sites. Currently, Tessa serves as the Director of the Food and Nutrition Program, overseeing food and nutrition education programs across the entire association and managing a team of educators. She also manages the SNAP-Ed grant program, which provides culinary and nutrition education to 3,500 SNAP-eligible community members.
The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington's mission is to foster the spiritual, mental, and physical development of individuals, families and communities, according to the ideals of inclusiveness, equality, and mutual respect for all. The Y fosters positive youth development, family unity, and community development through nutrition programming, counseling, curriculum-based before- and after-school childcare, academic enrichment, STEM programming, physical activity, and social-emotional-learning during out-of-school time and the summer. The Y’s Community Health Department envisions communities with equitable access to resources regardless of socioeconomic status, a just and sustainable food system, and positive health outcomes across all demographics.