Anna Frank and Christopher Howard. Photo courtesy of the Community Wellness Initiative.

In the day-to-day shuffle of life, finding time to balance a healthy lifestyle and understanding personal finances can be stressful and sometimes hard to comprehend. 

A new nonprofit organization in Larimer, the Community Wellness Initiative aspires to shatter obstacles to health and financial knowledge in underserved communities by supplying information and programming on nutrition, physical activity and financial literacy.

Founder Christopher Howard, who has worked in the fitness industry as a personal trainer for more than two decades, wants to create a trusted and sustainable resource for community members. He also believes it is crucial to give back and provide opportunities for people to improve their quality of life. 

“We see a community as a network of individuals who are prepared and empowered to support each other for the benefit of all,” says Howard. “Our goal is to offer resources and opportunities that will build and strengthen this spirit of community.”

The Community Wellness Initiative offers courses with an open discussion format to encourage knowledge-sharing among attendees. Nutrition and financial literacy classes start at $29 per session and exercise classes are $10 per session. Need-based scholarships are available — contact the organization for consideration.

All programs take place at The Kingsley Association, 6435 Frankstown Ave. 

“We want to engage with the community as we develop programming,” says Howard. “We have initial ideas about what will be beneficial, but ultimately, we hope to create a community board to ensure that CWI is in tune with what community members need our programming efforts to focus on.”

The organization works with local universities like the University of Pittsburgh, and with professionals such as registered dietitians and community educators. Anna Frank, a financial education program coordinator with First Commonwealth Bank, teaches the financial program, which runs from April 18 through May 9. A meal planning course runs from April 12 through May 17 and fitness classes run every Saturday. The public can register for session online.  

“A big part of our mission is to serve the underserved and economically disadvantaged,” says Howard. “But being in a position of need does not mean you cannot help others who may be in a greater need than you. ”

Jason PhoxGeneral Assignment Reporter

Jason Phox is a journalist in the Pittsburgh area sharing important information with the people of the Steel City. He enjoys writing, photography, and mostly comic books.