A south Phoenix-based organization, Unlimited Potential, has served the surrounding Latino population for nearly 40 years.
Unlimited Potential’s mission focuses on health equity and education while advocating for the needs of underserved individuals within the community.
Barriers including language, poverty, health coverage, legal status and stigma fuel inequalities within the south Phoenix area, according to the group.
Community health workers for the organization complete a mandatory 32-week training program on the prevention of chronic diseases which include cardiovascular health and diabetes. Many of the staff members are bilingual in Spanish and English.
According to leaders at Unlimited Potential, the Latino population is at high-risk for diabetes and high-blood pressure.
Unlimited Potential holds health fairs and other events in south Phoenix
Community health fairs and events are held throughout Phoenix to increase outreach and awareness. Free blood pressure readings and glucose checks are offered to everyone who attends.
These conditions are linked to poor diet and lack of education, executive director, Emma Viera said.
Staff health workers educate members of the community by providing cooking classes and providing fresh produce from the community garden.
English and adult education classes are geared toward the large portion of the population that speaks only Spanish, Viera said.
The majority of the 20,000 individuals that the group serves each year come from low-income families in Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa.
Last year Unlimited Potential received a $10,000 Season for Sharing grant which provided boxes of fresh organic produce to 1,000 families.
The 2021 Season for Sharing campaign raised $1.8 million for 164 Arizona charities. The annual grant-making effort was created in 1993 by The Arizona Republic/azcentral. Since then, more than $72 million has been donated to charities around the state that help struggling children and families, older adults and students and teachers.
“Our community is so appreciative of the support not only financially, but through public awareness,” Viera said.
Donations to Season for Sharing are accepted year-round at sharing.azcentral.com or by texting “SHARING” to 91-999.
Roxanne De La Rosa covers Arizona’s nonprofit community. Reach her at [email protected].