At 29, Kelly Dumke is already working on the front lines in communities in L.A. County against a well-known and entrenched enemy. She’s aiming to keep nearly 1 million children from becoming obese in early childhood. The 2009 UCLA graduate is the assistant director for Choose Health LA Kids, a program that was designed and implemented by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and funded by First 5 LA.
Dumke is working with researchers at UCLA to scale up an evidence-based curriculum that links nutrition education and parenting skills. She also leads an interdepartmental task force between the Department of Public Health and Department of Children and Family Services to develop ways to address high rates of child obesity in families within the child welfare system.
Dumke, who graduated from UCLA in 2009, is among six students and alumni who have been selected by the University of California to receive its inaugural Global Food Initiative 30 Under 30 Awards. The awards honor 30 young pioneers and innovators trailblazing to solve the global food crisis by making extraordinary contributions in a wide array of food-related fields.
The 30 Under 30 Awards recognize individuals, both inside and outside the UC system, who are doing outstanding work in food production, food access and security, food sourcing, food education and communication, and food policy and public impact. The 30 honorees were selected by a committee of industry leaders and influential voices in the food movement, both from within the UC system and in the wider world.
The Global Food Initiative was launched by UC President Janet Napolitano in 2014 to develop, demonstrate and export solutions that help put the world on a path to sustainably and nutritiously feeding itself. She created the awards to highlight and amplify the good work being done by 30 young leaders and further encourage dialogue about food education, access and security, health and sustainability.
“Today we honor 30 young people who have devoted their lives to addressing some of the most important topics of our day,” Napolitano said. “Food is at the heart of issues related to sustainability, climate security and healthy communities.”
The other five UCLA-affiliated winners are:
For more on all 30 of the winners, click here and on their photos.