News One Photo

News One Photo

Vivian Kurutz

Place of Residence: New York City

Why She’s a Game Changer: This fall, Kurutz launched the Harlem Wellness Center dedicated to helping area residents launch and maintain a healthy lifestyle with yoga and exercise classes and lessons on eating well.

She knew she was making a dent in the pitiful health statistics  in Harlem while working at another wellness center. Like many areas with high concentrations of African-Americans, Harlem suffers from higher rates of obesity and diabetes, in addition to stress. One in four Harlem residents is obese, around 29 percent smoke and more than 25 percent report their health as just fair or poor.

“I want to inspire and work with people here because they remind me of my family. My dream is for health and wellness in Harlem and teaching yoga is one way to do that,” Kurutz told Harlem World.

So when the wellness center the self-described “wholeness junkie” was working from closed down, Kurutz knew there was a need for her services in the community. She banded together with member from her former center and launched a fundraising campaign from which the Harlem Wellness Center was born. They raise $100 over their $20,000 goal to help launch the center.

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