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Hard work and dedication proves to be the magic components to a successful after school program. Ms. Dowdell and her support staff understand these concepts all too well. “Staying late after school, especially when you have your own family is difficult. It is a huge commitment and having your whole heart into it is very important.”

“When I started the MLK girls after school running club, my intentions were to empower girls and let them know that they can take charge of their own fitness"  


Ashley Weedn, MD, MPH, FAAP, a board-certified pediatrician, is an Assistant Professor in the Section of General and Community Pediatrics at OUHSC.

Her clinical and research interests are in childhood obesity.  She is the lead investigator for several pediatric obesity projects and recently received the Academic Pediatric Association Young Investigator Award for her research on disparities in childhood obesity in Oklahoma. A new tool FLIP CHART will help physicians start a conversation with young patients to reduce the risk of developing preventable chronic disease.


Wellness Initiative Grant 

The YMCA of Greater City recently received a Wellness Initiative Grant from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation for the OK 5210 Program. The Wellness Initiative is designed to promote the integration of physical activity, good nutrition and other healthy lifestyle choices into the daily routines of children and adults living in Oklahoma County. 

The Wellness Initiative seeks to work with organizations in developing innovative community-based programs that motivate people of all ages to engage in a sustainable program of daily exercise, healthy eating and other wellness activities and inspires them to adopt a healthy lifestyle that minimizes the potential of future illness and disease. The Wellness Initiative focuses on these daily numbers to live by – OK 5210: 1) 5 or more fruits & vegetables, 2) 2 hours or less of screen time, 3) 1 hour of physical activity and 4) 0 sugar sweetened beverages.

For 45 years, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation has worked with donors to create charitable funds that benefit our community both now and in the future. The Oklahoma City Community Foundation values integrity, stewardship and collaboration. They strive to be enlightened leaders with a long-term perspective of community issues and opportunities, and we encourage and assist donors’ philanthropy for the benefit of the community.


1. Raise the awareness in the community of the benefits of exercise and good nutrition to create a culture of overall community wellness.
2. Improve the infrastructure in the community to make it easy and fun for all central Oklahomans to take part in a simple and sustainable regimen of daily exercise, of choosing healthy food options and of developing a healthy lifestyle.
3. Increase the availability and awareness of parks and public space facilities and grounds for programs that encourage individuals to participate in daily exercise.
4. Include physical activity, nutrition and basic health education as part of the school curriculum for all school students.
5. Provide both school and non-school based opportunities for children & teenagers to learn and practice healthy lifestyle habits.