The Blog

ITT Community Challenge | July 23, 2015

Growing a Healthier Texas, One Community at a Time

Written By Lauren Dimitry, Policy Analyst, Texans Care for Children

This is the second year I’ve had the pleasure of traveling around Texas as part of the Growing Healthy Texas regional workshops and talking with folks about being effective champions for community health. I love the opportunity to talk with Texans across the state that I otherwise might never have a chance to meet and learn from – and that’s not just because I’m a talker (all policy people are…) it’s because it is truly inspiring. So, with one year of workshops down and the first one in this year’s series under my belt, what have I learned? It’s simple, really: there are so many Texans motivated and working hard to better their communities. A couple of weeks ago, when we kicked off the trainings in Brownsville, I learned all about their local efforts to increase the walkability and bike-ability of their city so families have somewhere fun and safe to go when they get outside to be active. I was lucky enough to experience it myself:

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Taking a stroll along their community trail system, I felt like community change – when we set our minds to it and work together – is achievable, and everyone benefits from it, even visitors in town like me. If my years of work on state-level policy have taught me anything, it’s that big changes are never easy to accomplish. Brownsville, however, reminded me that if we have the motivation, and we’re prepared to work really hard, we actually already have the ingredients we need to be effective champions for community health.  It’s accessing tools for change (like those IT’S TIME TEXAS provides,) and much persistence that will eventually bring us across the finish line. So, onward to the next regional training in Amarillo today, and a shout out to all of the motivated community members across Texas marching to toward that finish line!

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