Embrace is a nonprofit organization rooted in the promotion of social and physical wellness programs that serve underprivileged communities in a variety of ways. Founded in 2000 by CEO Sean Sheppard, Embrace programs are designed to connect college student leaders to San Diego’s multi-cultural community in the areas of social and physical wellness through service learning and volunteerism. The organization is built on the philosophy that serving less fortunate members of society brings people together - irrespective of their race, religion or cultural upbringing.
Embrace connects universities and local government to create a community outreach/service learning model that utilizes college students to remedy community problems such as health homelessness on a volunteer basis. Sean Sheppard’s, Embrace’s CEO, ultimate goal is to bring about legislation that makes community service mandatory for all college students that attend state funded institutions of higher education.
- Teaching underprivileged middle-school children in Title I Schools the importance of healthy lifestyle habits and cultural acceptance.
- Feeding the homeless 2 days per week year-round.
- Hosting community events that provide enrichment experiences for underprivileged youth as well as food and blanket drives to assist the less fortunate and the homeless.
- By utilizing volunteer collegiate and professional athletes as well as volunteer college students majoring in health, wellness and public health, Embrace delivers aerobic exercise, nutrition education, cultural acceptance education and culture-specific healthy cooking classes for the children and their parents. Children are pre-tested in the areas of height, weight, body mass index (BMI), resting blood pressure, nutrition and cultural knowledge. Athletes are utilized to serve as volunteers and role models due to their natural ability to advocate for eating a well balanced diet, exercising regularly and excelling in a diverse environment.
- Through corporate sponsorships, grants, private donations (monetary and in-kind) and a 'soul connection' with the San Diego Food Bank, Embrace utilizes student and lay volunteers to deliver healthy food and bottled water to people from all walks of life with love, acceptance and compassion.
- The program routinely provides enrichment experiences for underprivileged youth by conducting Wellness Workshops that include amateur and professional athletes as role models as well as tickets to college and professional sporting event
- The drives consist of students collecting nonperishable food items and blankets for homeless civilians and veterans, culminating with the students handing out the blankets to the homeless, feeding the homeless through the Embrace program or donating the food to the San Diego Food Bank.
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