Hello, my name is Hallie Bennett. I will be a sophomore at Sperry High School. I am a part of an amazing program called YAHL (Youth Action for Health and Leadership). This is my first year on YAHL and the YAHL Leadership Team. I attended the YAHL summit, and I’ve met so many new people and learned many leadership skills. One of our two campaigns is Elevate Student Health. This is the campaign I really want to focus and work on.
If you don't know, Elevate Student Health is a campaign focusing on getting schools healthier food options, clean water, and more opportunities for physical activity. Unfortunately, a majority of schools in Oklahoma don't have these simple things. In our school, I know that physical activity is only offered to kids in athletics. Our school also lacks nutrition and clean water. These things are very important because kids who don't get physical activity or don't eat healthy can have a larger risk of disorders and diseases. 1 in 4 people in Oklahoma are obese. Obesity can lead to type two diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, kidney disease, and many other diseases and health problems. It is very important to help encourage and increase healthy food options and physical activity to avoid these risks. Dirty water filters and over/undercooked food can lead to kids getting ill, so it's important to make sure everything is clean and healthy.
With these things in mind, you can see why wellness policies are important. Elevate Student Health wants our youth to be healthy and live strong lives free from health issues. The Elevate Student Health campaign is important to me because I care about the people in my school and community, and I want them to be healthy. Some of the ways that we help influence healthier options and physical activity is by doing principal meetings and school board meetings. I've done a principal meeting, and it really does make a change in your school. All our water filters in our school were dirty, but after our meeting, the principal immediately ordered new filters so they could be changed. You can collect Elevate Student Health surveys that give resources when we are trying to convince people to make their school and communities healthier. Being a part of the Elevate Student Health campaign and just YAHL in general can really make a change for the better in communities and the state.
By Hallie Bennett, YAHL Leadership Team Member from Sperry High School
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