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Our Mission & Motivation

BOUNCE is a community outreach and research initiative dedicated to reducing obesity-related diseases among underserved communities in Houston through local partnerships and interactive programs. BOUNCE empowers Hispanic and African American youth and families to adopt healthy lifestyles by making nutritious food choices, engaging in daily exercise and fostering a positive body image.

In Texas, nearly a quarter of elementary and middle school students are obese, according to state data. And studies show that African American and Hispanic children are at an increased risk for becoming obese.

BOUNCE is committed to combating the childhood obesity epidemic.

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Our Leadership

Norma Olvera, a professor in the Psychological, Health & Learning Sciences Department at the UH College of Education, serves as founder and executive director of BOUNCE. She has spent more than 25 years researching and examining parental, cultural, psychological and socio-environmental factors associated with childhood obesity in underserved children and families.

A native of Mexico with extensive research experience in Texas, Olvera has been able to closely observe how the transfer of certain factors from generation to generation influences a person's interactions with food and physical activity.

Olvera earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Houston. She is an active member of several health-related boards and previously served as president of the Hispanic Health Coalition.

ACCOLADES

BOUNCE has been recognized at the local, state and national level for its work. Some highlights:

  • In summer 2017, Norma Olvera, the founder and executive director of BOUNCE, was selected to participate in a prestigious fellowship with the U.S. Department of Agriculture based on her work in the health field.
  • In 2010, BOUNCE won an honorable mention award for cardiovascular health promotion by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
  • In 2006, BOUNCE was acknowledged as “One of the Best Nutrition and Physical Activity Practices” by the Texas Public Health Association.
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Our History

The BOUNCE initiative began as a one-week summer program in 2005. A friend had challenged UH Professor Norma Olvera to help young girls struggling with obesity, particularly those who could not afford high-priced programs. Thanks to a donation from her friend, Olvera held her first summer program with 26 girls. As of 2017, more than 400 families, with an average of five family members, have participated in the summer program. The program also has opened up to boys.

Due to its success and increased funding partners, BOUNCE has expanded its offerings over the years. Some highlights:

2006

BOUNCE partnered with two elementary schools in the Houston Independent School District to initiate an after-school healthy lifestyle program for Hispanic mothers and daughters.

2008

The summer program expanded to four weeks and began to include parent and sibling participation.

2014

BOUNCE grew its after-school programs, partnering with the Houston and Pasadena Independent School Districts to initiate the Fun with Food nutrition education program for boys and girls.

2017

BOUNCE launched an additional after-school program, Lace Up and Move, to promote physical activity and healthy eating among Hispanic and African American youth.

The summer program expanded to include boys.

BOUNCE in the News