Wendy Hansen-Siskin is a National Program Director at Wellness in the Schools and has grown with the organization over the past 11 years. Her role is now to run program operations, training, and curriculum development for the food and fitness programming in schools. Wendy has worked in Youth Development and Youth Fitness for over 20 years. As a lifelong athlete, Wendy earned a full swimming scholarship and degrees in Kinesiology and Dietetics from Louisiana State University.
After graduation, she started her career as an Exercise Physiologist in Cardiac Rehab. It was that specialty which inspired her to refocus her efforts towards Preventative Medicine. Wendy dove deeper into the field by acquiring additional certifications from the American College of Sports Medicine and the International Youth Conditioning Association. She has since developed programming for several SBYD (Sports Based Youth Development) organizations dealing with how to engage children from diverse demographics in physical activity, implementing multiple methodologies that target positive social development, nutrition education/awareness, sport-specific skills, and healthy habit formations.
Wendy now focuses all her efforts on the development of Wellness in the Schools' programming as they grow across the country.
Darril Almonte is a Bronx Native, with significant experience in the field of youth development. In his early life, Darril faced many obstacles and adversities similar to most youth from the Bronx. He attended public schools in underserved neighborhoods ridden with crime, drugs and gangs. Fortunately for Darril, he found a sanctuary in sports that kept him out of trouble and focused on a bright future.
After Darril graduated from High School, a new Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club site opened in Darril’s neighborhood called the Fredric R. & Margaret Coudert Clubhouse. Darril was hired by Kips Bay at the age of eighteen, where he then began to serve the community he was raised in. Darril’s ability to relate to youth experiencing the same trials and tribulations he once faced, made him an excellent youth worker. He began working for Kips Bay part-time while attending John Jay College as an undergraduate student. After graduating from John Jay, he earned a professional position as a Teens Director for Kips Bay.
Twelve years later, Darril has attained numerous positions at the organization. He now works at the Flagship site, the Lucile Palmaro Clubhouse as the Director of Athletics. Darril’s passion and dedication to community enrichment are the foundation for his success in youth development. He has committed his professional career to making a difference in the everyday lives of young people who are in dire need of opportunity and empowerment.
Link to current data, statistics and recommendations from the CDC.