For Immediate Release
Contact: Karen Johnson
New York, New York (June 28, 2023) -- As part of its National Teens Make Health Happen Showcase, HealthCorps is pleased to announce that Maie Bartlett Heard Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona placed first for the organization’s Team Awards and received the People’s Choice Award for the students’ demonstrated impact and engaging approaches to teen health and wellness.
This year’s Teen Make Health Happen Showcase was celebrating the work of the 80 student leadership clubs across the country who have been working to improve the health and well-being of their peers through campus-wide activities and events.
The Heard Elementary Teens Make Health Happen club submitted a video demonstrating the impact their club had made on their school community over the past year. All submissions were voted on by a team of judges for various levels of recognition. Students from around the country were also invited to participate in a week-long digital event, which was aimed at promoting health and wellness among teens, sharing resources and advocating for community health. Global entrepreneur, author and philanthropist, Tony Robbins provided the event’s keynote comments.
The Heard students’ winning entry included highlights of their club activities from throughout the year. Students shared their collaboration with Ben’s Bells Project to promote kindness during Martin Luther King Day of Service; and, they helped increase exposure to fresh fruits and vegetables by providing samples in the student quad. Judge’s were impressed that the students also focused on teacher wellness and their outreach to the broader school community. Students launched a teacher appreciation event and they are now working to create a student resource center to provide food and hygiene items for students in need. They will use the funds from the award to start the resource space.
Asked why they joined the Teens Make Health Happen Club, student responses had a common theme: “It makes me feel better to make a difference,” and “I wanted to help teens find better versions of themselves,” plus “I wanted to spread awareness & health to others.” Their sentiments are clearly reflected in their winning project.
HealthCorps’ program at Heard Elementary School is also supported by BlueCross and BlueShield of Arizona. “We are thrilled with this award and are grateful to HealthCorps for recognizing our students’ initiative. We are extremely proud of the leadership and thoughtfulness our students took to create this project,” said the school’s Teens Make Health Happen Club sponsor, Ms. Cathleen O’Neil Frantz. “Our students recognized the wellness needs of our community, including our parents and faculty. HealthCorps and BlueCross BlueShield of Arizona have helped introduce these concepts to our students. This project is just one example of the growth we’ve seen in our school community as a result of wellness activities.”
“The National Teens Make Health Happen Showcase provided an opportunity for the HealthCorps community to celebrate the incredible work of the student leaders and near-peer mentors who have been working throughout the year to make an impact in their communities,” said Natalie Tunzi, Associate Director at HealthCorps. “It’s especially notable that Heard Elementary students won both the People’s Choice Award and first place among the team entries. They are remarkable students.”
HealthCorps is a national 501(c)(3) organization working to eliminate health inequity and improve lives by educating and empowering teens — encouraging them to become change-agents within their families, schools, and neighborhoods. The Arizona program is supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ).