Bounce | About - University of Houston
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Our Mission

BOUNCE is a community outreach and research initiative dedicated to reducing obesity-related diseases among underserved communities by empowering 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.


Norman Olvera

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.

Academic Partners

Dr. Joyce Ogurinde is an assistant professor in the Health and Human Performance Department at the University of Houston. Her research focus is to extend the understanding of cultural meanings associated with sport for African-American communities and to redefine those meanings to create sport programs that can be leveraged to redress health, social, and economic disparities. She aims to determine key practical implications for creating sustainable sport for development programs within marginalized communities that redress the various disparities facing African-American communities.

Dr. Tracey Ledoux is an associate professor at the University of Houston. Her research focus includes developing interventions to improve eating and behaviors of all Americans. She does this by improving the understanding, prevention, and correcting overeating behaviors in the early family unit.

Dr. Sascha Hein is an assistant professor in the Psychological Health and Learning Sciences Department at the University of Houston. His research focus ranges from environmental influences on cognitive development in diverse cultures to understanding the relation between education, mental health, social-emotional development and delinquent behaviors in children and adolescents. He also focuses on influences of the school and family environment on different indicators of intelligence of students in Zambia and Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Consuelo Arbona is a professor in Psychological Health and Learning Sciences Department at the University of Houston. Her research focus includes issues of ethnic identity, minority stress and acculturation in relation to psychological adjustment and career development with a focus on Latina/o populations. She is currently investigating depression as a mediator in the relation of minority stress to academic outcomes and the role of cognitive vulnerabilities to depression and anxiety among Latina/o college students.

Dr. Han Joe Kim is an assistant professor in the Psychological Health and Learning Sciences Department at the University of Houston. His research focus is the measurement and quantitative methods implemented in psychology and education. Some of the topics of interest are causal inference, quasi-experimental methods, multilevel modeling, longitudinal data analysis, survival analysis, mediation analysis, measurement theory, cognitive diagnostic modeling and computerized adaptive testing.

Dr. Zenaida Aguirre-Munoz is an associate professor in the Psychological Health and Learning Sciences Department at the University of Houston. Her research focus is on issues related to opportunity to learn in multilingual classroom settings. This interdisciplinary approach centers on the intersection of cognition, learning, assessment, and language development. Her work involves STEM teaching and learning, the assessment and instruction of culturally and linguistically diverse students, the impact of opportunity to learn on engagement and achievement, and content-are literacy development for English learners.

Bounce by the numbers

  • 20+Conferences featuring BOUNCE programs
  • 20+Elementary & middle schools involved
  • 10,000+Families reached
  • 20,000+Student volunteer hours


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.
history photo


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:


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.


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


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.


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