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FTOC Karate Students Strike Gold



TUSTIN, Calif., August 23, 2022 – As families prepare to head back to school, one community health center is working with local children to keep their health in check all year long, while winning gold medals in the process.

Families Together of Orange County, a nonprofit community health center with locations throughout Southern California, has partnered with local karate dojo Toyama Do in Santa Ana since 2018 to provide a free karate program to underprivileged children in the community. Not only does the karate program provide exercise for the children, but it also provides them access to the health center’s myriad of services including medical, dental, nutrition, mental health, wellness and more.

Edgar Velez, a 13 year-old Families Together “karate kid” and patient, originally heard of the program while practicing at his local dojo. Once his mom discovered the other services offered at Families Together, she made appointments for her whole family.

Studies by the Houston Teachers Institute show that children who learn healthy habits are more likely to take them into adulthood and less likely to have health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, or heart disease. Velez is just one of several FTOC karate kids that are learning how to take control of their health at a young age. Edgar states:

“With the karate program at Families Together, I’ve learned several ways to start prioritizing my health. Now, I come for both karate and weight resistance training, which has taught me workouts I can do at home to improve my health and karate skills. I love all that I’ve learned with this program and I look forward to my classes every week.”

After just 5 months with the FTOC karate program, 13 year-old Velez has come a long way. He has not only started to learn the basics of living a healthy lifestyle, but he can now proudly say that he is a champion. Last month, Velez and several other FTOC karate kids competed in a karate tournament in Las Vegas. Much to his excitement, Velez is one of two children who won gold medals at the tournament.

Families Together provides a multitude of programs and services available to patients that aim at promoting a healthy lifestyle in underserved communities. The karate program is just one of several that encourages young patients to take control of their own health. Alexander Rossel, CEO of Families Together of Orange County states:

“We have many patients that lack access to the resources and education necessary to lead healthy lifestyles. Our Wellness Center, which houses a myriad of programs and classes like the karate program, was founded with the goal of providing patients with the tools that allow them to take control of their health. By instilling these values at a young age, we hope that we can create a positive ripple effect in their lives and in the lives of their families.”

The karate program at Families Together holds classes on Tuesdays from 4pm to 6pm and Saturdays from 10am to 12pm. Families Together patients may register for the program by calling 1(800) 597-7977 ext. 507.

Acerca de Families Together of Orange County Community Health Center

Since 2003, Families Together of Orange County Community Health Center (FTOC) has proudly served the Orange County community with a myriad of health services while providing a welcoming, multi-lingual and patient – centered medical home to all. FTOC is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, FQHC look-alike, a member of the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers and the California Primary Care Association. Please visit www.familiestogetheroc.org para obtener más información sobre Families Together of Orange County y las últimas actualizaciones.