About Us - Bel Inizio

About Us

Located in Houston, Texas, Bel Inizio, (which means beautiful beginning in Italian), is a nonprofit that helps disadvantaged women develop self-confidence and life skills through fitness and nutrition. Participants train to complete a 5K, which helps prepare them for the ultimate race — the race for a better life.”

Houston has a generous giving community and great compassion for those in need. We have emergency shelters, transitional housing, and half-way houses. The agencies offer case workers, recovery programs, and job skills training. What gets lost, and is critically needed, is helping individuals achieve the self esteem and confidence that can come from an ongoing exercise and nutrition program.

Bel Inizio (Beautiful Beginning in Italian) was launched to help meet this need. We work with women from many partner agencies including Santa Maria Hostel, Dress for Success, Brigid’s Hope, Star of Hope, Redeemed Ministries, and The Women’s Home. Our clients are individuals who had a variety of challenges from sexual abuse, substance and alcohol abuse and homelessness. Most are in recovery, and all are working hard to re-enter the community. With Bel Inizio many have the opportunity to succeed in a way which they never thought possible: they will set a healthy goal and achieve it.

Bel Inizio teams train to complete a 5K, and in the process learn about commitment, fitness, and nutrition. They see healthy behaviors in action and are offered tools to help them succeed once they are out on their own. Bel Inizio shows each woman that they matter. We help prepare them for the ultimate race — the race for a better life.

Our Founder and Executive Director, Theresa Strong, has well over a decade invested in running and nearly that in working to improve conditions for the homeless in Houston. She relies on the kindness of friends, family, and strangers to achieve the mission of Bel Inizio.

Mika-Foster-Bel-InizioOur Program Manager, Mika Foster, has committed herself to community service and working to advocate on behalf of disadvantaged groups, especially women and children. After serving her hometown of Los Angeles, CA, she now works with Bel Inizio to continue providing services to those who most need them in Houston.

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Our Board of Directors


President Cindy Knox
Treasurer Patricia Martin
Secretary Dorena Moore


Mimi Berkowitz
Theresa Bueno
Rochelle Mannigel
Bridget McLaurin
Lynn Nazareth
Paige Myrick
Suzy Seeley
Becky Spaulding
Debbie Vega