Changing health education
through experiential learning,
one gym class at a time.



HealthClass 2.0, a civic engagement project housed at Eugene Lang College, is an experiential learning program empowering New York City youth to engage in new conversations about health, food and exercise. HC2.0 supports students in learning about health through a powerful, multifaceted framework: combining exercise with vocal affirmations, engaging in healthy and mindful eating, and considering the power of individual decision-making in social context. Our holistic approach to health education frames fitness and food education as core to developing critical thinking skills and a strong sense of self among 6-12 graders and our college leaders. HC2.0 encourages students not only to create healthy habits for themselves but also to consider structural factors, which contribute to health and food insecurity issues in many under-resourced communities. HC2.0 doesn’t just combine exercise and healthy eating; we unite the two under a weekly self-empowerment theme that infuses every jumping jack and each delicious bite with energy and intention.

What we do

  • inspire kids to have fun through mindful exercise and healthy eating.
  • provide each student with a delicious snack from one of our sponsors.
  • educate our Eugene Lang College leaders on the broader context of their work in a full-semester academic course.
  • select community partners with a commitment to wellness education.
  • work with our community partners to build long-lasting relationships.
  • believe that educating young people to be healthy, confident, and engaged human beings should be core to any serious educational mission.

What we don’t do

  • scare young people by fanning fears about the dangers of obesity.
  • list off random nutritional factoids or label certain foods as “bad”.
  • train HC2.0 leaders to “deliver” static lessons.
  • partner with all schools that approach us.
  • parachute in for a semester and then leave.
  • blame our students and their families for the health problems prevalent in their communities.
  • see food and fitness education as a “frill” on “real” academic work.


HealthClass 2.0 is an experiential learning program empowering New York City youth to engage in new conversations about health, food and exercise. HC2.0’s approach to health education involves exhilarating workouts, healthy food and collaborative inquiry. HC2.0 supports students in learning about health through a powerful, multifaceted framework: combining exercise with vocal affirmations, engaging in healthy and mindful eating, and considering the power of individual decision-making in social context. about-presskit

Our Team

Natalia Mehlman Petrzela  
Natalia is an assistant professor of History at New School. She is the author of Classroom Wars: Language, Sex, and the Making of American Political Culture (Oxford University Press, 2015), written with support from the Spencer and Whiting Foundations. Her current research focuses on the popularization of modern American wellness culture. A former public school teacher and private tutor, she now teaches beyond the academy primarily as a Premiere IntenSati leader, empowering diverse communities through physical movement. Her classes have been recognized by domestic and global media outlets and brands including Univision, the U.K. Guardian, Lululemon Athletica, YOGASMOGA, and IAMMAI. Natalia holds a B.A. from Columbia University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.
Ellen Gustafson
Ellen Gustafson is the Founder and Executive Director of the 30 Project, a think + do tank focused on addressing systemic issues leading to hunger and obesity to change dialogue about the global food system. Ellen speaks around the world to a wide range of audiences about food system change and her idea that hunger and obesity are two sides of the same global malnutrition crisis. She was named to Fortune’s 2009 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, Inc’s 2010 30 Under 30 and is a featured speaker on Ellen serves on the Columbia University Alumni Board of Directors, the founding Board of Directors for the Bronx Success Academy 1 charter school and is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Regarded as a pioneer in social entrepreneurship, she is the Co-Founder and a Board member of FEED Projects and the FEED Foundation, a company and non-profit that create products which have helped provide over 65 million school meals to children globally. She has a B.A. from Columbia College and is the author of We The Eaters: If We Change Dinner, We Can Change the World (Rodale, 2014)
Apryl Marie Grasty  
Apryl Marie Grasty is an artist, educator and writer. Her current research focuses on the interplay of nonverbal learning and special education in the early childhood setting. She is a passionate advocate of wellness and has designed and implemented integrated food curriculum in schools in New York City. In addition to her role as the Executive Director of HealthClass 2.0, Apryl works at a private preschool on the Upper East Side of New York City, maintains an active role in the New York dance community and is an IntenSati Leader. She also volunteers with the Rock Girl organization in Cape Town, South Africa. Apryl holds a B.F.A. from The University of the Arts, an M.A. from Teacher College, Columbia University and an M.A. from Columbia College Chicago.
Dyan Tsiumis  
Dyan is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and founder of GETFIERCE TRAINING. Dyan is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and founder of GETFIERCE TRAINING. Dyan became a certified intenSati leader in 2008 and headed the intenSati Leader Training program for creator Patricia Moreno from 2009-2011. As an advocate for fitness for all, she has taught for The Fresh Air Fund, Energy Up!, and the Equinox-sponsored Shape Up New York program since its inception. Dyan is a certified Spinning, 30/60/90, TRX, and Booiaka instructor, and trains and teaches clients all over New York City. You can often find her teaching at Revolve, a boutique cycling studio in Union Square. Dyan holds a BS in Athletic Training from Alfred University and is a graduate of the world-renowned Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
Eugene Lang College  
HC2.0 is a faculty project of Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts. Our HC2.0 student leaders hail from Ohio to England, studying disciplines ranging from Education Studies to the Arts. All share a commitment to improving the lives of young people and themselves. These students are trained in a specialized practicum equipping them to lead the exercise and discussion sections of HC2.0, and also enroll in a full-semester academic course taught by HC2.0 founder Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, which provides the historical and contemporary context for the important intervention in which they are engaging. Faculty from Lang and across The New School in disciplines from Food Studies to Psychology to Drama are involved in HC2.0’s ongoing curriculum development.
Carol Axelowitz Lane  
Carol is a former banker and business consultant. She is a former banker and business consultant. More recently she has served on various committees focusing on business development, event planning and annual fundraising for non-profit organizations. Carol has been involved with the intenSati community for 10 years and became a certified intenSati Leader in 2012. She resides in the West Village with her husband and two teenage sons.
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Our Sponsors

Contributions of our partners are invaluable in making HC2.0’s experiential education model a reality for the hundreds of school children who are able to EAT, EXERCISE, and ENGAGE in newly powerful ways.
 Eugene Lang College: ELC is a four-year liberal arts institution in New York City with a strong tradition of civic engagement, committed to equipping its students with the intellectual skills and knowledge to be agents of change in the wider world. HC2.0 is housed at ELC, and its leader core is comprised of ELC students and alumni. At The New School, HC2.0 is supported by the Fund for Collaborative Innovation, made possible by the Rockefeller Foundation, and by the Lang Program in Civic Engagement and Social Justice.
 Sati Life: Sati Life, wellness and lifestyle company, is a founding partner of HC2.0 and exemplifies the deep relationships we can cultivate with our partners. Sati Life CEO Patricia Moreno authorized HC2.0 to create a signature version of its exercise program, intenSati, to be used in schools. HC2.0 leaders are eligible for scholarships to all Sati Life’s offerings, and Moreno, an internationally renowned fitness celebrity, regularly volunteers her services for HC2.0 fundraising events.
 BluePrintJuice: BluePrintJuice, a producer of organic and raw juices and snacks, is a founding partner of HC2.0. BPJ has been present since HC2.0’s first session in Fall 2011 and has provided its products and other fresh foods for use as teaching tools for HC2.0 sessions all over New York City. BPJ’s team – ranging from interns to nutritionists to founders – have been active in working with HC2.0 on aspects as varied as developing relationships with food partners to providing fresh foods and juices beyond HC2.0 sessions to PTA meetings and community health fairs.

“I am thrilled and honored to participate in HC2.0 because this program empowers young people from all backgrounds to be mindful, healthy and responsible for their bodies and their lives. HC2.0’s leadership and vision will undoubtedly make this program a success.”

–Patricia Moreno, Founder and CEO, SatiLife.  

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Our Schools

We proudly serve over 700 young people in several schools throughout Manhattan and the Bronx boroughs and are proud to continue to build lasting partnerships with the following middle and high schools and community institutions: Crotona Park West Site (Phipps Community Development Corporation) Piagentini and Jones (Phipps Community Development Corporation) Winston Preparatory School Language and Diplomacy High School Gramercy Arts High School Washington Irving High School Lower Manhattan Community Middle School PS/IS 161M FEDCAP Good Shepherd Services


“Thank you for teaching me to have confidence and doing something I put my mind to.” –Heaven, 10th grade
“HealthClass2.0 is creating a POSITIVE approach to fitness and food among young people, about students creating their own understanding of health, not just listening to ours…” –Catherine, HC2.0 leader

“HC2.0 makes me feel brave and like I have the courage to do anything.”

–Aamari, 6th grade

“Being a part of this program has further incited my love for teaching and taught me so much about myself. Having just 10 minutes of discussion with the students about what it means to be healthy has changed my way of conceiving health and well being and I’m really excited about continuing to create that discourse wherever this program takes us.” –Ally T., college HC2.0 leader
“I am so excited about this and feel it is improving my attitude and life!” –Catherine, college HC2.0 leader
“Go HealthClass 2.0! This program is amazing and not only teaches kids healthy habits, but opens doors for them to think about themselves, their choices and their futures in completely new ways!” –Caitlin Hanson, Director of School Based Health and Adolescent Medicine, Institute for Family Health
“After taking HC2.0, we’re noticing some real, tangible differences in how [our students] carry themselves and they feel more comfortable in their own skin.” –Aisha Tolbert, Site Director, Crotona Park West, Bronx, NY
“I LOVE YOU GUYS. I didn’t know it was so much fun to feel good about yourself!” —Yari, 6th grade
“You will always be a part of our morning workouts—WE THANK YOU!” –P.E. Classes, NYC DOE High School
“[HC2.0] was SO inspiring—everything was so much fun! I hope you come back very soon—THANK YOU!” –Larisa, 11th grade
“[Months after finishing HC2.0], I ‘caught’ one of our students quietly saying the affirmations to himself in the hall. When I asked what he was doing, he just smiled.” –Andrea Vargas, health teacher, NYC DOE High School



There are so many ways to be a part of HealthClass 2.0. We are always looking for new volunteers, sponsors, schools, and friends.

  • Become a Lang Leader

  • Become a food sponsor

  • Media development (video production, social, etc.)

  • Event space and planning

Become a Leader


We welcome community volunteers! If you can help us source healthful food, assist in fundraising and event planning, build our social media presence, or have expertise in the health and wellness fields, contact HC2.0 Executive Director, Apryl Grasty. 

To become a leader, Contact us


Become a Sponsor


HC2.0 seeks to build sustainable and mutually beneficial partnerships with individuals and private institutions that embrace our commitment to fostering community wellness through experiential education.

To become a sponsor, Contact us




All-Star Intensati for HealthClass 2.0!

Come join Health Class 2.0 on December 2nd at 7 PM at Washington Irving High School for an All-Star Intensati Health Class 2.0 event! Buy tickets here:




Jan 31, 2015

Giving Tuesday and Swerve Events!

On December 2, 2014 HealthClass 2.0 hosted our annual Giving Tuesday Event. The gym at Washington Irving High School was packed with students, parents, college leaders and IntenSati enthusiast who affirmed why HealthClass is so vital. Our efforts this year raised over $3,000 and we are thankful for all the support we received.
On November 1, 2014 HealthClass 2.0 hosted an intimate indoor cycling class at Swerve Fitness led by Head Instructor Dyan Tsiumis. The money raised at the class enables HealthClass to continue and deepen our commitment to schools and communities we serve. The event raised over $600 and the heart rates of all who participated.

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Apr 24, 2014

Giving Tuesday

unnamed   All-Star intenSati Class featuring Patricia Moreno, Natalia Petrzela, Dyan Tsiumis, and Darbi Worley! Join us for our next Fitness Fundraiser Giving Tuesday December 2, 2014, 7 pm Washington Irving High School, 10th Floor Gym 40 Irving Place (btw 16th and 17th) Join us for an amazing workout and treats from your favorite wellness brands!
Sep 30, 2013

Fundraiser on December 3rd!

SAVE THE DATE: A GIVING TUESDAY FITNESS FUNDRAISER feat. Intensati with Patricia Moreno! HealthClass2.0 is thrilled to announce its Second Annual Giving Tuesday Fitness Fundraiser, featuring IntenSati creator, Patricia Moreno! Participants will work out in an exhilarating and inspiring IntenSati class at Washington Irving High School, HealthClass2.0’s founding site! Details: Tuesday, December 3rd, 7 PM, Washington Irving High School Gym, 40 Irving Place 10003


Participants will also enjoy special treats from different health and wellness brands. If last year was any indication, it will be an absolute blast, and all for the cause of getting more NYC kids to eat, exercise and engage proactively in their lives and communities. All are welcome, and minimum suggested donation is $40! Last year we raised over $9,000, so let’s beat that! Registration info to come, so check back soon!


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