By THERESA CISNEROS / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
SANTA ANA – An Orange County woman who works for an after-school program that serves more than 100,000 students statewide has been recognized by the California Milk Processor Board for encouraging Latino families to adopt healthier lifestyles.
Nadia Flores, director of community outreach for THINK Together, was named a winner in the board's statewide "Maestro Positivo" ("Master of Positivity") contest during a ceremony on Wednesday at THINK Together's Fourth Street headquarters.
Nadia Flores, director of community outreach for THINK Together, was named a winner in the California Milk Processor Board's statewide “Maestro Positivo” (“Master of Positivity”) contest.
Flores received $2,500 for motivating dozens of THINK Together families to exercise regularly, explore outdoor activities and try healthy recipes. She plans to give her winnings to her organization, which also received $2,500 from the board.
"I am so thankful," said Flores, 31, of Costa Mesa. "Through these collaborations, ultimately we can create a better community."
The contest was held as part of the board's latest Spanish-language campaign, "The Master of the Glass Half Full," which features a fictional guru who spreads positivity and healthy living through the powers of milk.
California residents ages 13 and older were invited to submit essays in Spanish nominating someone in their community who promotes healthy living and nutrition. More than 70 entries were received from those seeking to honor teachers, nutritionists, yoga instructors and others.
Flores, a former THINK Together student who graduated from college and returned to work for the organization, was nominated by parents.
Flores said the prize money will be used to fund new fitness classes, a community garden, staff leadership seminars and more.
Awards of $2,500 will also go to Christina Rodriguez, a registered nurse from San Jose, and her charity of choice Holy Trinity Catholic Church's Health & Nutrition Ministries; and Sara Train, a nutritionist and community volunteer from Glendale, and her group of choice, U.S.C. Physical Therapy's "Fit Families" Program.
By honoring these Masters of Positivity, the California Milk Processor Board hopes the public will see the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, said executive director Steve James.
"We want to bring attention to these heroes," he said, "And we also want people to draw the connection between positivity and the health benefits of milk."
For more news out of the county's Latino communities, visit the Register's OC Latino Link blog at oclatinolink.ocregister.com