Youth Summit on Healthy Behaviors Draws 600 Participants
The Rapides Foundation hosts seventh annual event
The Rapides Foundation’s seventh annual Youth Summit on Healthy Behaviors drew 600 students and teachers from seven Central Louisiana school districts on October 11 at the Alexandria Riverfront Center. The summit is a one day event for students to learn how to become advocates for healthy choices and policy change in their schools and communities. A photo gallery can be viewed by clicking here.
“Adopting healthy behaviors is generational work,” said Joe Rosier, President and CEO of The Rapides Foundation. “We know we have to give young people the information and tools they need to make healthier decisions if we hope to improve the health status of our communities. The youth summit is a great avenue to provide that learning opportunity.”
The summit is part of The Rapides Foundation’s Healthy Behaviors Initiative, and is attended each year by students and teachers participating in the Foundation’s Healthy Behaviors School District Partnership Grant. The goal of the grant is to provide students, staff and teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to make better and informed behavior decisions leading to healthier lives. Participating school districts in the 2017-18 grant are: Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Grant, Natchitoches, Rapides and Vernon.
The theme of the 2017 Youth Summit was #MoveMore #EatWell #LiveClean, and the agenda for the day included youth advocacy presentations, energizer breaks, and breakout sessions to educate summit participants on the issues of tobacco prevention, substance and alcohol abuse prevention, and healthy eating and active living. Presenters included nationally recognized advocates in those focus areas. The opening session, “It’s Time to Be VOCAL (Viral Operations to Change Attitudes and Lifestyles),” was presented by Jason Thompson, co-founder and owner of marketing firm Fahrenheit Creative Group. Thompson is a community advocate who is passionate about equity in health and other quality of life standards.
The summit was planned by a group of youth advocates who serve on the Foundation’s Youth Advocacy Council. In addition to planning and leading the summit, Youth Advocacy Council members learned leadership, team-building, research and public speaking skills, while also creating an advocacy project titled “My Healthy High!” The advocacy project focuses on Substance and Alcohol Abuse Prevention and includes a public service announcement, toolkit and resource directory. All participants at the youth summit received the advocacy project components to implement in their own schools and communities throughout the school year. Click here to view the My HealthyHigh! Youth Advocacy PSA. You can also get a copy of the “My Healthy High!” toolkit and resource directory by clicking here or by looking in the "Documents" section below.
View the Youth Summit photo gallery