We, the Health Ambassadors, a group of 20 determined girls are attempting to bring awareness to our community about all the different components that contribute to health and wellness. We want our community to acknowledge that health is not only limited to improving our eating habits and physical exercise but also include: emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, financial and environmental health. This project is needed in our community due to the growing epidemic of obesity, depression, suicide, and social isolation. 76% of students in LAUSD come from low-income families. In order to accomplish our goal, we will host classes within various LAUSD schools. These classes will touch upon how to compost, manage stress, meditate, save money, and improve decision making. We will also upload videos in order to expand our proximity for those unable to attend these events. As the only LAUSD school in District West that has Peer Mediation, we want to include other mental health resources for students, such as a wellness room on campus. A wellness room would be a designated area where students can go when having negative emotions. Using social media, our website, and our school resources, we will promote these events and resources to others. Not only are we trying to increase awareness on health, but we wish to make health education inclusive towards people of all backgrounds and identities.
We, the Health Ambassadors plan on solving the misconceptions that both parents and students have on health. The majority of people only think of eating habits and physical exercise when it comes to health and wellness but they are not aware that there are various components that contribute to it as well. This is a common issue among low-income families due to their inability to balance their work and school life. Every 5 in 25 students are suffering more and more with health-related issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. When surveying students on campus “What is the first thing that comes to mind when hearing health and wellness?” the common answers were “eating healthy, exercise, stress, and mental health.” Therefore, to minimize misconceptions and improve the health and wellness of LAUSD students and parents, we plan on hosting fairs and classes to help inform students and parents on how they can improve their health. We also plan on making a specific impact on the students within our high school, by creating a specialized room that will be at students’ disposal for a safe and free space in order to help their mental health. This will be done in collaboration with our school’s Peer Mediation team and will encourage other campuses with Peer Mediation to do this on their own campus.
The way in which the Health Ambassadors plan on expanding beyond the walls of our school is through service. The Neighborhood Youth Association (NYA) is a local non-profit for low-income students throughout Los Angeles, only a few miles away from our campus. The Neighborhood Youth Association has a designated area for a garden, what we plan to do is teach both the children and parents how to effectively use the garden and its goods. We also hope to hold a class in which we educate them on how to compost and why it is important. The Health Ambassadors does not want to limit this to NYA, but we also hope to bring this to various other LAUSD schools around us. Evidently, there are various schools that do not have full-time gardeners, such as Nora Sterry Elementary and Brockton Avenue Elementary. We hope to be able to visit one school a month and improve their garden, as well as educating them on how they can care for it, allowing it to be there in the long run.