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UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION HONORS NORA BARQUIN FOR HER CONTRIBUTION TO THE COMMUNITY ON NUTRITION AND WELLNESS

The University of Illinois Extension selected Nora Barquin, Right From The Start (RFTS) coordinator at Family Network/Family Focus, to be in their 2011 Hall of Fame. She was honored on October 13, 2011 for her contribution to the Community on Nutrition and Wellness Category along with ten other individuals, during a ceremony in Grayslake. Nora was recognized for her work and the considerable contributions she had made to the residents of Lake County. She networks with various agencies to bring health, exercise and nutrition to all ages in the community. 
Nora has partnered with the University of Illinois Extension’s SNAP-Ed Program since 2002, the same time she joined Family Network. Nora, a native of Mexico City, has a PhD in Biology, but after many years of working in medical research and volunteering at Erie Neighborhood House with the immigrant community she decided to pursue a master’s degree in Social Work, and she is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). She has been the RFTS coordinator for 9 years.
Family Network founded the RFTS program in 1994, to serve the unmet needs of the growing Latino population of Highwood and Highland Park. Right From The Start program provides education and family support services to at-risk Spanish speaking pregnant women and families with children from birth to 12 years old. The program started with home visits, hospital visits and a few group offerings, and has grown considerably over the years to meet the ever changing needs of the community.
Currently, RFTS has 9 staff and in the last fiscal year served 227 families. The program provides home visits, hospital visits and 16 new group offerings that cover a wide range from prenatal and parent education groups, to nutrition, ESL, GED, fitness, financial education, vocational skills such as jewelry-making and sewing, and groups for children from birth to 12 years old. The goal of such a variety of services is to provide adults education that help them be better parents, as well as give them skills that improve their quality of life. For children these groups provide an opportunity to socialize, learn developmentally appropriate skills, and engage in afterschool enrichment activities they may have not had the opportunity to do otherwise. This is accomplished by collaborating with partners across the community to expand RFTS services. For more information about Family Network and the Right from the Start program please visit our website.

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