Risa Berrin identified an area of need that was not being addressed in her community. Her research uncovered critical health issues that were largely being ignored among children and adolescence.
Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Risa is a proud graduate of Miami Palmetto High School. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Miami School of Law.
Risa was a fellow at the University of Miami School of Law Center for Ethics and Public Service and led the law school's Street Law program in Miami's public schools.
Risa has been a court-appointed special advocate, guardian ad litem, for the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida, for children who are abused, abandoned and neglected and in the custody of the Department of Children and Families for the past twelve years.
In addition to her work with foster children, Risa taught health education to female juveniles who were incarcerated at the Miami-Dade County Department of Juvenile Justice corrections facility.
Risa is the co-founder and past co-chair of the Young Philanthropists of Baptist Health, which was created to encourage young people to support the Baptist Health hospitals in the South Florida community. Risa is a past board member of the South Miami Hospital Center for Women and Infants.
She is the immediate past chair of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools School Health Medical Advisory Committee, which advises the superintendent and sets health/medical policy for the entire school district.
Risa is a member of the inaugural class of Leadership Florida’s Connect Florida Leadership Training Institute.
Between 1999 and 2009, Risa was a part-time writer for The Miami Herald.
Risa was invited to give a TED Talk about the insights and impact of HIP at TEDx Miami’s annual conference at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in October 2013.
Valerie Berrin graduated from Barnard College-Columbia University with a B.A. in Religion. Valerie grew up in Miami and graduated from Gulliver Preparatory School.
Beginning in elementary school, Valerie sold mangoes each year, raising thousands of dollars for the Children's Home Society of South Florida.
As a young child, Valerie experienced health issues that helped her realize the importance of health education and led her to become active in health education and awareness.
During college, she worked in the New York City public high schools. That experience taught her about the numerous physical and emotional health needs of the students and the lack of resources in their schools and in their communities.
Valerie currently serves as the chair of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools School Health Medical Advisory Committee (SHMAC), which sets health/medical policy for the entire school district.
Valerie is a 2014 New Leaders Council Fellow. She served as the organization's curriculum chair and now acts as its mentorship chair.
Valerie also serves as the chair of the Barnard Alumnae Young Professionals Group in Miami.
In her spare time, Valerie is a commissioner of a girls community basketball league and coaches one of the teams.
Rachel is a graduate of Miami Palmetto High School and is currently a senior at Emory University, majoring in Human Health and minoring in Sociology. At Emory, she teaches Health 100 to college freshmen, a class designed to help students make healthy lifestyle choices in college. She is also involved in the university's tour guide program, a sorority and a global health organization. Rachel plans to get a Masters in Public Health after she graduates.