How One Aspiring Health Coach Is Bringing Wellness to Communities in Need
Nina Zorfass, IIN Content Editor
Claude D. Harriott, former NFL player and future Health Coach
Health Coach Day 2020 was focused on three pillars – community, education, and service – which underscored not only the work the IIN community does every day to bring health and happiness to the world but also the day’s events and the values the winner of the Health Coach Day scholarship would uphold.
We’re excited to announce that Claude D. Harriott is the winner of our first Health Coach Day scholarship, which will provide him the opportunity to enroll in IIN’s Health Coach Training Program. Born in Jamaica and raised in Florida as the youngest of four boys, Claude was taught the importance of community. He said of his childhood: “My grandparents always cooked Jamaican food that was full of color and plant-based foods. That’s something I recently recalled and want to get back to – plant-based eating!”
Earning a football scholarship to college and then getting drafted in the NFL, Claude spent nine years playing football with teammates of different upbringings and backgrounds. After retiring, Claude realized the loss of community and comradery of a sports team was impacting his health. Claude tells us: “So many of my teammates – including myself – go through massive changes when our careers end. The community we had is gone, and we find ourselves without our teammates, coaches, regimens, consistency, and even income. Our mental, physical, and spiritual health can suffer.”
Claude’s desire to rebuild a community for himself led him to explore health and wellness, especially mindfulness and the role a positive mind-set plays in living a purpose-filled and successful life. He channeled this desire for community to found Quest-Act, a nonprofit organization whose mission is “to give a platform for athletes to provide authentic, transparent guidance to understand life’s experiences beyond the game.” Quest-Act matches current and retired NFL athletes with young adults from all backgrounds to help them improve their mind-set for better decision making and empower them to lead healthier lifestyles and embrace more of life’s opportunities.
Claude shares why IIN’s Health Coach Training Program will be a much-needed step on his wellness journey: “I first learned of IIN when I volunteered at an event in Washington, D.C. They led about 100 of us and members of Congress in a mindfulness exercise, which was amazing and I personally found very impactful. After that, I wanted to learn more about health coaching. The IIN program is an important part of what I need to make this effort successful for these young adults, especially those in underserved communities, and the players who also need community and opportunities to give back.”
Image via Claude Harriott
The IIN team is thrilled to have Claude join this incredible global community. We know he’s going to apply his training to his organization’s work in wonderful ways. We also know many of you are using your IIN education to serve your communities, too. Follow us on Instagram – @nutritionschool – and share your IIN experience with us!