Heroes 4-Health Meet in New Braunsfels and Empower Youth
On August 19-21, 2016, youth, adult volunteers, and staff gathered in New Braunfels, TX to celebrate the success of the 2015-2016 Heroes 4-Health grant funded initiative. This time was also used to plan for the 2016-17 implementation of the National 4-H and Wal-Mart supported grant.
Twenty-eight summit attendees (17 youth, 5 volunteers and 6 staff) traveled from Brazos, Dallas, Cameron, and Cass Counties to participate. The 3-day state-wide culmination summit included team building activities, and program planning workshops. Adult volunteers and youth engaged in a food challenge activity that exposed everyone to a popular 4-H competition. All participants were provided the opportunity to move out of their comfort zones and overcome fears while being encouraged by the T Bar M facilitators and fellow attendees on the high ropes course and through various team building sessions.
County Agents Arvitta Scott and Cynthia Pierfax facilitated workshops sessions on program planning, writing impact statements, and providing recognition. Brazos County Youth Ambassadors led the group in a Saturday morning yoga session. Cass County Youth Ambassador Ally Stanford shared her favorite ice breaker and led an impromptu teaching session. Although initially shy, the Cameron County youth ambassadors were very vocal in the program planning sessions, providing key comments on their county level implementation. Dallas County youth enthusiastically participated in everything on the agenda. For some youth, this was the first time out of their county of residence.
The closing ceremony included county specific and summit wide recognitions. For attending and fully participating, everyone received a Heroes 4-Health yoga mat, 4-H journal, weekly/monthly planner, and the official 2016-17 Heroes 4-Health polo style shirt. All attendees agreed that the State Wide Summit should become an annual event held at T Bar M to celebrate success and renew Heroes 4 Health implementation commitments for years to come.
Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) Cooperative Extension (CEP) 4-H and Youth Development program has been a recipient of 4-H Healthy Living grant funding consecutively since 2013. The Heroes 4-Health grant funding goal is to empower youth to positively impact their community through educational programs that raise awareness of everyday healthy living practices in nutrition and physical activity. The CEP 4-H and Youth Development unit is under the direction of Program Leader, Rukeia Draw-Hood. The Heroes 4-Health Principal Investigator is Health Coordinator, Dawn E. Burton.
James Palmer, Ph.D.
Interim Dean and Director of Land-Grant Programs