These small words describe the big impact both Cindi Juncal, fitness coach, and her programs from The Noble Path Foundation are making in San Clemente.

After winning a fitness contest in 2012 that changed her life, Juncal became inspired to help young people find their path to improved health.

“I want to teach kids how to feel happier through better health. If we can get children to recognize at an early age how to make smart food choices, then the chances of them continuing on to a healthy lifestyle increases,” she said.

Motivated to make a difference in young lives, Juncal began extensive research which led her to interview pediatricians and learn that few treatment or intervention plans exist for kids confronting weight issues.

As a result, Juncal founded The Noble Path Foundation, a nonprofit organization, to fight childhood obesity by improving the health and fitness of youth through nutritional education and motivational exercise.

“Statistics show that obesity rates have gone through the roof in the last 30 years—there’s an epidemic going on and people aren’t aware,” said Juncal. “I want to go to the mountain top and start shouting – I want to tell as many kids as possible about the dangers of hidden sugars and processed food.”

To shine awareness on the subject, last year Juncal hosted the Foundation’s first educational event – a family fun night at Talega’s Mendocino Apartments.

This month Juncal takes her passion and expertise to the students at Vista Del Mar Middle School (VDMMS) where she’ll implement a nine-week challenge program.

Working with VDMMS physical education teachers once a week during P.E. classes Juncal and her trainers will lead students in workouts, relays, conditioning and strength training exercises. The nine-week program will measure student endurance, strength, and agility.

“We’ll also hold nutrition assemblies to encourage parents and family members to participate as well,” Juncal said.

The nutrition seminars spotlight startling obesity statistics: One in four youths ages 9-16 in California is overweight, and 16.2 percent of San Clemente youths are overweight.

If the trend continues Juncal said, “Obesity studies have proven this generation of kids will be the first not to outlive their parents.”

Juncal said, “The mission of The Noble Path Foundation is to stem the tide of this degradation in our children’s health and to provide them with hope for a brighter and healthier tomorrow.”

The City of San Clemente shares Juncal’s health and fitness objectives. In 2011 the City aligned with the County of Orange Obesity Prevention Plan to establish a city-wide focus on the prevention of obesity. And, in April 2012 the City Council adopted a resolution becoming a Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) community.

“The City cares about the community and wants residents to be healthy,” said Pamela Passow, Recreation Manager. “We’re a community that looks to improve parks and trails and find different ways for children to become healthier.”

The Noble Path Foundation and the City share a resolution to help San Clemente’s youth adopt healthy habits and pursue a healing path in the New Year.