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Jenn Flynn named to Top 40 Under 40

It was an emotional moment for Jenn Flynn when she received the news that she had made Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 list. “It was really exciting, I was totally humbled,” she says.
40 Under 40
Jenn Flynn was named as Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 for her work with APPLE Schools, a program that promotes healthy eating, physical exercise and mental health in schools across Alberta.

It was an emotional moment for Jenn Flynn when she received the news that she had made Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 list. “It was really exciting, I was totally humbled,” she says. The 34-year-old was recognized for her work with APPLE Schools, a health and wellness program that promotes healthy eating, physical exercise and mental health in schools across Alberta. She was one of the original health facilitators of the program, which started 10 years ago. Her job was to connect with various schools and develop action plans suitable for their institution. “My job was to work with school communities to create healthy environments for kids try to improve,” she says. “Our goal was to prove that you could actually make a difference in kids' life.” APPLE Schools started in 10 schools across Alberta. Today more than 60 schools are participating in the program and Flynn, now the executive director, has plans to expand it to Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. She says she was honoured to receive the award. “When you read the Top 40 Under 40 list each year you think, wow those people are amazing, so I was really shocked to win,” she says. Each year Avenue Magazine recognizes people who are making an impact in Edmonton on their Top 40 Under 40 list. The staff at APPLE Schools nominated Flynn for the award. Flynn says she wanted to get involved in APPLE Schools, since she had personally experienced how an active lifestyle at a young age can impact a person’s future. Flynn grew up in a sports-focused family and played ringette and basketball as a teen. “We were always active, we were always at the hockey rink or playing basketball,” she says. She continued to play ringette while at the University of Alberta, where she studied physical education. After graduating she started a U of A alumni ringette team that played competitively. A few years ago Flynn tore her ACL, taking her out of the rink. It was during this time that she examined sports and its relationship to wellness and mental health. “It really shifted things for me and I was really grateful that I had my health education background because I knew movement isn’t just about sports,” she says. While her body was healing she started swimming, cross-country skiing and going to spin classes so she could keep active. A couple of years ago Flynn returned to the ringette team. Her focus on an active lifestyle has made the position at APPLE Schools a natural fit for the athlete. She says the school is now starting to promote mental health initiatives in the program. For more information on the program visit: http://www.appleschools.ca/


Dayla Lahring

About the Author: Dayla Lahring

Dayla Lahring joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2017. She writes about business, health, general news and features. She also contributes photographs.
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