In addition to empowering our students to find ways of living and eating that make them feel like their happiest, healthiest selves, we provide the coaching, business-building tools, and knowledge to create a successful wellness career. In this series, you’ll hear from IIN students and graduates who share their inspiring stories about how IIN helped them realize the work their hearts were meant to pursue, from health coaching and beyond. These stories have the power to unite us in continuing our mission to spread the ripple effect of health and happiness, one Health Coach at a time.
Janine Rom graduated from IIN in January 2017. Since then, with the knowledge and business tools attained at IIN, she's made a life she never thought possible. Janine created a holistic health curriculum for grades K–12 and has taught at multiple school districts across Long Island, New York. She currently teaches this program at her holistic-based homeschool co-op. Janine also hosts wellness retreats twice a year at Bear Mountain in New York. She wakes up each day with a sense purpose and drive to help others.
What were you doing prior to enrolling in IIN’s Health Coach Training Program?
“I was a stay-at-home mom, and at the time I decided to enroll in the program, both of my children had started school full-time. I kept having a nagging feeling there had to be more. There was something else I could do to help others – something other than the monotony of grocery store trips and workouts.
“I specifically remember sitting at a stoplight one morning after dropping the kids at school, while heading to the grocery store for the second time that week. I said to myself, ‘Just do it! Sign up for that program! What’s the worst that could happen?’ Little did I know it would be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! I’m able to have both a career I absolutely love and time for my family.”
How were your kids involved in sparking your realization of how to use your IIN education?
“Having grade school–aged children opened my eyes to the extremely limited health education they were receiving. I saw a need with my own children, as well as my friends' children, to learn calming techniques and self-love through nutrition and meditation.
“I started working on health and wellness workshops for kids, which ultimately turned into the curriculum I teach today. I make sure to include hands-on activities, challenges, and recipes with each lesson. My children were my guinea pigs, which really helped me tailor the program so it kept the interest of all age groups.”
How did you get your foot in the door? Did you encounter any roadblocks?
“The first step I took toward getting my program into a school setting was attending a PTA meeting. From there, I caught the attention of the principal, asking if there was such a program already and if one was needed. The leaders of that PTA meeting were impressed, and they asked me to speak at the next faculty meeting. At this point, I had never spoken in front of a crowd and was terrified! But the school staff was so supportive and loved the idea.
“At the suggestion of the principal, I set up a meeting with the superintendent. This is the largest school district on Long Island, and I just walked into the meeting like I had done it a thousand times before. I just kept telling myself to be confident and sure. He suggested I apply to put my program into the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services Arts and Education booklet, which is distributed to every school on Long Island and gives schools the ability to choose programs and extracurricular activities to bring in.
“My curriculum was approved! There were a few roadblocks here and there, but it was just from the people resistant to change. Ultimately, they saw what a benefit it was for not only the children but the entire school community.”
What happened when the COVID-19 pandemic began? How did you pivot your work?
“When the pandemic began and schools went remote, that was the end of my program inside the schools. Even today, no outside vendors are allowed, nor assemblies or workshops.
“There is now a much larger home-school community in need of holistic health education. I have created a holistic-based co-op for children ages 5–12. I teach my curriculum, which is heavily influenced by what I have learned through IIN. I still use documents and tools from the provided toolkit!
“The amazing thing about the education I received at IIN is it’s so versatile. Taking these challenges we have been given this past year and being able to thrive through them has been such a blessing. I am forever grateful to IIN!”
What inspires you about your work?
“The people inspire me – both children and parents. I've received emails and phone calls from parents letting me know their children are sleeping better or not having as much anxiety at school. Children have told me they love meditation time and that it makes them feel calm and happy. They love when they try a new superfood recipe and like it!
“The wellness retreats I host at Bear Mountain are like icing on the cake. Hiking to the top of the mountain or leading meditation sessions at the base next to the Hudson River inspire me to keep doing what I’m doing – and remind me that you can create a life for yourself that includes a higher purpose, love, abundance, and fun!”
If you could give one piece of advice to your pre-IIN self, what would it be?
“Whatever your calling or passion is, do it sooner rather than later! It will all work out just like it should.”
When it comes to pursuing a career in health and wellness with an IIN education, the possibilities are endless. The health coaching philosophy can be applied in any professional setting, which provides IIN graduates with incredible opportunities to get innovative in curating the type of career – and future – they’ve always dreamed of. Learn more about what makes our Health Coach Training Program the perfect choice for your health and wellness education by downloading our free Curriculum Guide today