Aviation High School’s HealthCorps Leaders Induction Ceremony
On May 29, Aviation High School in Queens, NY held its HealthCorps Leaders Induction Ceremony to honor students that dedicated their skills, passion, and time to HealthCorps programming during the 2014-2015 school year. Coordinator Lacey Salberg worked with Aviation’s Principal, Vice Principal, and the Student Events Coordinator to organize the event, which opened with the color guard team, featured awards and speeches, and had close to 150 student/staff spectators.
In order to be in the ceremony, students had to volunteer a set amount of time and attend a specific number of HealthCorps events. During the ceremony Leaders received patches and medals, and specific students were recognized and received awards such as “Outstanding Leadership Award,” “Integrity Award,” and “Going the Distance Award.” In addition to the entire Student Executive Board of HealthCorps Club speaking at the ceremony, HealthCorps Coordinator, Lacey Salberg; Principal Deno Charalambous; and other faculty all had proud and congratulatory words to share.
At the end of the year, Living Labs will be transitioning out of Aviation—so in addition to honoring students, the overall ceremony presented a positive outlook for the future of the school and its work around bettering the lives of youth.
“I hope that the students feel more empowered than ever to take on programming as individuals and that they realize that not only are they working to become change agents but they already have become change agents,” said HealthCorps Coordinator Lacey Salberg. “I’m fully confident, especially after the ceremony, that students have the support they need within the school to keep HealthCorps’ mission alive.”
Jasmine Vargas, Student Executive Board member of HealthCorps Club, wrote and delivered the following speech to her fellow classmates at the ceremony:
“Knowledge, happiness, and success are three main take-aways that I’ve gotten out of HealthCorps. Health corps is not a competition to see who is the healthiest. It is not just about eating apples. And it is about more than who can do the most push-ups. Health corps is a CULTURE. It’s a lifestyle based on the contribution of ideas, OUR IDEAS, about OUR very own bodies. HealthCorps allows our voices to be heard, so we can become a healthier generation.
This program shows you the side of life that cannot just be learned from a textbook. Growing up, you’re told to eat fruits and vegetables, but no one tells you the benefits of fueling your body with the proper nutrition. HealthCorps reminds you that there will not always be someone by your side to make sure you eat all your vitamins and minerals for the day – it’s up to YOU to do that.
That is why this group is addressed as health corps LEADERS. We take it into our own hands to change the way life is presented to us and our school. We not only learn about the dangers of consuming processed food, we create all natural smoothies. We don’t just complain about being stressed, we make stress balls and meditate. Because we know that when we can control what happens inside of our bodies, we can control what happens in all aspects of our lives.
Only 60 schools nationwide have the opportunity to have an extracurricular activity like health corps, Aviation being one of them. I’m so grateful that we were able to take advantage of that opportunity, and I thank you for being a part of this program with me. Continue to share your knowledge with others and spread the health wealth. HealthCorps doesn’t stop here, we’ve only planted the seeds for it to grow. Continue to gain knowledge and ask questions, and don’t be fearful of the change you can make. As Tom Stoppard said, “A healthy attitude is contagious, but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.”