PA Spotlight: Noah Pickens


Noah Pickens, a first time Coach Across America coach, has stood out in his role as he has taken a holistic approach to the important work he does. The enthusiasm and thoughtfulness with which Noah approaches each day is truly inspiring and unique, and he does not let a day escape him without first seizing each opportunity that presents itself to listen, teach, and encourage. As a coach, he does not take his role of influence lightly; rather, he engages students and adult community members alike with the health and wellness of the whole school in mind. Being bilingual has enabled Noah to be very proactive and effective in the Spanish-speaking communities that he works in. Noah has become much more than a coach to many families, he has become an ally and friend.

As a part of Urban Initiatives’ Healthy Places endeavor, Noah has made himself a strong presence in the schools, especially Tarkington School of Excellence. Teachers have been thrilled and impressed as he has led entire art classes in projects that combine artistic techniques with health messaging. He led a “Healthy Poster Contest” that empowered students to put on paper their knowledge and goals for healthy eating and living. The whole school was impacted as these poster went up around school and became a means of informing and encouraging the whole school population. He also organized a powerful initiative at lunch that reduced school waste and motivated students to finish all of their fruits and vegetable before leaving the classroom.

Noah is a coach who has exemplified dedication, passion, and thoughtfulness as he has applied all of his skills, talents, and strengths to the work that he does. We are grateful to have Coach Noah on our team and we know that Urban Initiatives, Tarkington, and all of Chicago is a better place due to his involvement and commitment

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