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Meet Your Trainers

Take some time to get to know the people who are bringing the Health Partners program to communities around Kentucky!

Megan Jaspersen is the lead trainer for the Health Partners program. She is employed by the University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute at the Health and Wellness Initiative. She received her undergraduate degree from Eastern Kentucky University in Psychology and Sport Management and her graduate degree from the University of Kentucky in Health Promotion. She is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in developmental disabilities at UK. She has previously been employed as a K-12 Health and PE teacher as well as a Service Coordinator for individuals with severe emotional disabilities. In her free time, Megan enjoys spending time with her family doing things outdoors such as backpacking, camping, and rock climbing. She is also an active member of her church and likes to run and work out.

Favorite thing about her job: “The best part of my job as the Health Partners facilitator is working with an awesome team of individuals who inspire participants to be the healthiest version of themselves.”   

Advice for someone trying to get healthy: “Don’t feel like you have to embark on the journey alone. Grab a friend and use your support system to help you reach your goals. A little encouragement goes a long way!”

Morgan Turner is a Health Partner Co-Facilitator with the University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute. Morgan is a graduate of Tates Creek High School, Global Messenger for Special Olympics Kentucky and Ambassador for Best Buddies at UK.  In his free time Morgan enjoys basketball, baseball, football, hunting, watching UK sports, and spending time with family and friends.

Favorite thing about his job: “The best part of my job is meeting new people and continuing to learn healthy ways to live.”

Advice to someone trying to get healthy: “Don’t be afraid to try new things and don’t get discouraged. Just keep trying.”

Monica Hayes is employed by the University of Kentucky as a part time Co-Facilitator of Health Partners in the Health and Wellness Initiative and attends Cypress Community Services. She graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. Monica loves to go with her family to Cincinnati Reds games and attend Dunbar basketball games as well. Monica loves dogs, enjoys going to the vet with her own dogs, and she likes to give them hugs and kisses. She also enjoys walking at the Recreation and Outreach Center (ROC) at Immanuel Baptist Church and the Kentucky State Arboretum. She loves to go to church with her family on Sundays.

Favorite thing about her job: “I love working with great people. They are so kind and respect me for who I am. I learned about new healthy lifestyles and how to take care of myself and how to help others.”

Advice to someone trying to get healthy: “Start changing your bad habits into something rewarding. You will see the difference in your life by eating vegetables and fruits of your choice. Drink more water and try to get up. Motivate yourself by exercising, dancing, and doing things that help you feel good about yourself.”

Megan McCormick is a Co-facilitator for Health Partners at HDI as well as a substitute Instructional Assistant in elementary schools in Fayette and Lincoln County Public Schools. She is enrolled part-time at the University of Kentucky to get her four year degree in Education with hopes of becoming a full-time Instructional Assistant at the elementary level. In the past she has done advocacy presentations for Supported Employment of persons with ID, Inclusive Secondary Education for persons with ID, and Supported Post-Secondary Education for persons with ID. She is an active global messenger and athletics ambassador for Special Olympics Kentucky. Other community activities she participates in include the Best Buddies Chapter at UK, Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky, the Council for Exceptional students at UK, and she is an alter server and communion minister at the Newman Center Holy Parish church. She enjoys playing piano, eating healthy foods, and swimming with the Fintastics Swim team.

Favorite thing about her job: “I like helping individuals with disabilities and teaching the importance of nutrition.”

Advice to someone trying to get healthy: “You have to be committed to do what is important for you to stay healthy.”

Brandy Martin is a Co-facilitator for the Health Partners program and attends Cypress Community Services on week days. Brandy graduated from Western Hills High School in Frankfort, Kentucky. She participates in Special Olympics flag football and bowling.  Some of her favorite things to do include using her tablet and game boy, as well as playing Pokemon cards and spending time with friends.

Favorite thing about her job: “I love all the people I have met and the different types of food I have learned to cook and enjoy.”

Advice to someone trying to get healthy: “My best advice for someone trying to live a healthy lifestyle would be to try and not give up and be yourself at all times. Have fun with it.”  

This project is funded by the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities