Michelle Samuel October Participant of the Month

Using group activity to boost participation and reaching goals.

Active SWV would like to highlight Michelle Samuel as the October Participant of the Month! Michelle’s story really highlight’s Active SWV’s goal of using group activity to boost participation and reaching goals.

Michelle is from Delbarton, WV.  She works for the WV State Police and has two grown children: a daughter in veterinary school, and a son in the army.  She also describes herself as an avid supporter of the 4H Program.

For most of her life, Michelle describes herself as an active person. Until, 4 years ago, she suffered a back injury requiring surgery.  She found that the recuperation from the injury combined with driving time to and from her work, contributed to a lapse in good fitness habits.  Michelle also found, as she was aging, that she had gained unwanted pounds. 


It was time for a change!  Michelle looked at her eating and physical activity habits and began meal prepping for herself. Then, her friend Tammy Estep began a walking group, utilizing the Walk With Ease curriculum.  Michelle said that this group appealed to her as a way to stay accountable through group activity, and she happily signed up as a participant.  When asked if she could nominate someone from her group as Participant of the Month, community captain Tammy Estep said, “I do have one person that I hope to encourage to become a conductor later on. She has been cheering me on since I first introduced this idea of a walking group. Michelle Samuel has helped me promote the program by inviting her family and friends to join us. She is a motivator and has encouraged me these last few weeks.”


Michelle immediately began seeing success with her participation in Tammy’s walking group!  She began shedding pounds, and her successes keep her motivated.  In addition, Tammy is able to bring her mom to the walking group, and enjoys the interaction that both of them get from participating.  There is a sense of community among the walkers, and this community connection really enbies the spirit of the community captain program! The walking group has enhanced Michelle’s health in many ways, mentally and physically.  The structure of meeting three times per week, the connections among herself and other participants, and the sense of accountability provided through group exercise will continue to help Michelle reach more of her own fitness milestones.

Michelle states that she “asks everyone around the area to join in“, it has been so beneficial to her!

Find a list of programs and activities near you on the website calendar

Michelle attends a walking group led by Tammy Estep.  They meet Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 5 PM at Williamson Southside Mall.