Home » Episode #490: bKYND-Alexa Newkirk’s Mission to Improve Youth Health and Wellness

Alexa Newkirk has always seen wellness and fitness as her sanctuary—a vital outlet from the everyday challenges of adolescence and an effective tool in her battle against anxiety and depression during high school. Recognizing the profound impact that holistic health—encompassing physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being—had on her life, Alexa was inspired to dedicate herself to guiding young individuals in discovering their own passion for health and wellness.

At bKYND ("Be Kind"), where she is an advocate for a holistic wellness model, Alexa continues to fuel her commitment to nurturing inclusive environments that empower youth to thrive in all aspects of life. Her work is a reflection of her own journey and a testament to her belief in the transformative power of well-rounded health practices.

bKYND uniquely blends physical activities with educational discussions, reaching various schools and impacting thousands of students by making wellness accessible and engaging. Join host Pete Moore and Alexa as they uncover the inspiring stories of growth, community, and the power of setting a foundation for healthy living from an early age.

"A lot of our programming is really dependent on the energy of our coaches. We teach K through 12, so you really gotta have that enthusiasm . . . the ability to be flexible and make changes on the spot. Because our main objective is to make sure they have a good experience, those early life experiences (hopefully positive experiences with physical activity!) are what really is going to shape their habits for the rest of their lifes," states Newkirk. 

Key themes discussed

  • Promoting holistic health and wellness through variety of activities.
  • On-site programming removes barriers, benefits families, involves the whole family. 
  • Discussing programming and sales cycle length.
  • Classes accommodate 12-15 students, 2 certified coaches.
  • Free on-site wellness program and how they stand out.
  • Anecdote: Middle school boys discussing stress and their feelings after the program!

A few key takeaways:

1. Alexa discusses bKYND, which focuses on a holistic wellness model to engage youth. The program emphasizes not only physical health through fitness activities but also integrates mental, social, and emotional health education, aiming to foster well-rounded development.

2. bKYND is distinctive in its approach by delivering programs directly in schools, making it easily accessible. This eliminates transportation barriers and makes the programs available at no cost to the students or parents, thanks to school-funded contracts.

3. Newkirk highlighted the expansion of their programs from 3 schools initially to potentially 30, showing significant growth and acceptance. This showcases a scaling model that could inspire similar education-based wellness programs.

4. The anecdote about middle school boys openly discussing their stress management techniques illustrates the program’s impact in breaking down communication barriers among youth regarding mental health, a traditionally stigmatized topic.

5. The mention of forming partnerships with entities like Nike or Adidas hinted at future potential for commercial partnerships, which could further enhance program resources and reach. Alexa also mentioned how their program could prompt youth to influence their families' health habits, suggesting an indirect method to wider community health improvements.

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