Rochelle Culp, project director for the Mississippi Tobacco-Free Coalition of Madison, Yazoo and Holmes counties, has a passion for good health.
Following her education at Holmes Community College and Belhaven, she had a successful career of 18 years with Allstate Insurance Company. But during all that time, she was a health-conscious individual, and “I made my own choice to live a healthier lifestyle,” she said.
“As far back as 1990, Allstate had a commitment to employee wellness,” she said. “They had programs for walking, exercise, and nutrition, to help employees make better choices.”
For Rochelle, the key to a healthy and happy life is just that — making the right choices to live healthy and be healthy. She began volunteering with the Watch Program, which was committed to teaching kids about the harmful effects of tobacco, and when she had the opportunity to work full-time in that field, she jumped at the chance.
“I heard someone ask a question once,” she said of her move into the non-profit world. “That question was ‘what do you want your tombstone to read’? I decided that I wanted to be remembered for helping people live better and healthier lives.”
From that commitment, she’s worked on many projects for the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, although her main focus has always been tobacco prevention. One program she administers for kids is called RAT — that is, Reject All Tobacco. She’s spoken to many groups of children, and said that their efforts have reached more than 50,000 kids.
“It isn’t just about tobacco, though. It’s also about making good choices on food, doing your homework, being obedient and developing a good character. It’s these choices that make for a good life for these kids,” she said.
In addition to her work with the tobacco-free project, Rochelle is also a fitness instructor and personal coach and teaches classes at Fitness Lady.
“My goal is to reach and motivate 1,000,000 women by the time I’m done,” she said. “I’m having so much fun, and I’m good with being just where I believe God wants me to be.”
For further information on the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, visit its website at www.healthy-miss.org.