Shaniqua Simuel, a native of western North Carolina, values selfless service and has made this a fervent practice in her life both locally and abroad among those living in poverty. While this passion has been innate, it really began to flourish while she was pursuing her Master of Science in Public Health at Campbell University. Throughout her education, she most valued her time serving senior citizens of rural North Carolina with Type II diabetes and Hypertension. This was done by way of addressing food insecurity. Upon graduation she began an exciting adventure serving in the Peace Corps. There she was given the opportunity to provide her skills to the indigenous people of Ethiopia. With that came an extreme expansion of her knowledge as she learned how to address misunderstood practices such as, improper nutrition for children under five, open-defecation, and handwashing without the use of soap while adjusting to her own limited supply of water and electricity as a Health Educator.
With all her accomplishments, in graduate school and abroad, her ability to adapt and embrace cultural sensitivity has afforded her the competence needed to build trust with her community. This foundational element has led her to a greater fulfillment than any degree or accolade could provide to her. COVID-19 led to a premature global evacuation from Peace Corps assignments. This tumultuous experience gave her an unplanned opportunity to re-envision her rich desire to address food insecurity. She is the founder of Change Your Palate, a grassroots whole food meal prep program designed for black and indigenous people of color who have noncommunicable chronic conditions, specifically type II diabetes and hypertension. She currently works with the Food Justice Planning Initiative as a Healthy Food Distributor and Nutritional Cooking Education Coordinator, while simultaneously building her program and practicing community engagement on behalf of the Shiloh Community Garden.
When she is not pursuing this particular passion, she pursues her other passions. Living out a message of balance, she enjoys a variety of hobbies such as braiding hair, attending a book club with girlfriends, cooking with new recipes, and binge watching The Jefferson’s. In summary, her pursuit in life is in serving those with socioeconomic barriers in attaining resources and teaching individuals of all backgrounds, cultures, and income levels how to better their health. She displays genuine optimism at a future where she is helping others think about their choices and doing the right thing by them.