Community Wellness – Blaire Hirt
The meaningful connections and impact has been at a community level with my experience in the Boynton Beach and West Palm Beach areas. Since beginning my work at both schools I’ve found that the students aren’t just students; they are sons and daughters, friends, sisters and brothers, and most importantly they are contributing members to their communities. The change that is happening at the school level will eventually impact the entire community each family at a time. I’ve been blessed to work with Palm Healthcare Foundation, a non-profit organization benefiting all of Palm Beach County. Their community representative for the Boynton Beach area, Ricky Petty, has been fabulous at connecting me with local events and organizing a student leadership group that has led tables centered around the HealthCorps mission. Students helped pass out healthy snacks and water after a community 5k for “Racing out Poverty” Principal Sims also made a guest appearance at the finish line.
The north West Palm Beach has such a unique connection to the school and community. Many families have gone graduated from Palm Beach Lakes High School and now their sons, daughter, and grandchildren attend currently. I love the strong family ties the school has with the community and how the impact not only effects the lives of the students but the entire family. Recently, the city of Rivera Beach, which is a feeding city to Palm Beach Lakes held their community Health Fair. This event was a major success and students volunteered to put on a table and participate in the Saturday’s events. Over 15 students showed up to volunteer, they hosted a table that had the Re-Think Your Drink lesson partnered with a Make Your Own Trail Mix. They connected to their own community and learned other valuable lessons from the other vendors that were at the event. Three students told me they want to attend more community health fairs and more open markets in their communities because they had so much fun that afternoon. There was fitness classes and informational seminars going on throughout the day. The face of community wellness was changed for the students who were able to attend.
The mission of HealthCorps is to empower young high school students to eat better, make more health-conscious choices and improve their mental resiliency. By working with the communities and the adults that the students look up to as mentors, change will happen in each and every school!