Monday, September 9, 2013

Announcing the Rising Star Award finalists!

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This new award will be presented annually to a young Texas, 13-18 years of age, who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in the community in an effort to raise awareness and reduce the burden of the obesity epidemic.  This year's Rising Star Award winner will be announced at the 2013 Texas Health Champion Award Ceremony in Austin, TX on September 12th. The event is free and open to the public (click here to register). 

Pallavi Dev
Glenda Dawson High School
Pearland, TX

Pallavi is the founder and leader of a community service group in Pearland, Texas called High Five For Health (H5H). The group consists of adolescent health promoters who educate their peers and younger youth about obesity and how to live a healthy lifestyle. Pallavi and her H5H team have taken their message to kids and the community at large through partnerships with the Pearland Mayor’s office, the Parks & Recreation Department, Pearland ISD, and the 288 Rotary Club. Their efforts have included presentations to kids in the city’s free after-school programs as well as participation in community events. At Pearland’s Winter Festival, H5H hosted an obstacle course, a nutrition trivia game, and set up a booth to collect height and weight data. In an effort to better reach younger kids, Pallavi authored a children’s book on healthy eating titled Sam’s Lunch.

Danielle Fournier
Kempner High School
Sugar Land, TX

Danielle began teaching gymnastics when she was just 14 years old. Her early experiences working with kids gave her a unique understanding of the power of peer leadership. “Children need strong role models and they naturally look up to older students,” writes Danielle. As President of the Oliver Foundation’s Teen Advisory Board, Danielle has organized several obesity prevention efforts in her Sugar Land community. She focuses her efforts primarily on Mexican-American children and adolescents, serving as a role model and mentor for younger students. Danielle helped to improve curriculum for STOP 2048, an accredited nutrition and physical activity program in Houston charter schools, and worked with faculty at Baylor College of Medicine this summer to show the cost-effectiveness of the program.

Caitlyn Floyd
Quest Early College High School
Kingwood, TX

Caitlyn believes strongly in the power of policy to drive healthy change. The school Caitlyn serves currently faces many barriers to living a healthy lifestyle. Drugs and crime have made the parks unsafe for physical activity, and the stores and restaurants surrounding her school make it tough to achieve a balanced diet. As a member of the Youth Police Advisory Council and a youth ambassador of Healthy Living Matters, Caitlyn learned how changes to neighborhoods, such as safe walking trails and restaurants that offer fresh choices, can be facilitated through advocacy and thoughtful policy development. She has worked with her school to create a year-long competition that encourages physical activity, culminating in an end-of-the-year field day event. Caitlyn attended the Safe Routes to School Conference in California this year and returned with several ideas for expanding obesity prevention efforts in her community.

The Rising Star Award winner will receive a full scholarship to attend the Southern Obesity Summit, November 19-21 in Nashville, Tennessee. This will include travel, hotel, registration and meals!  This scholarship is generously sponsored by Texas Health Institute.  

The winner will be announced at the 2013 Texas Health Champion Award Ceremony in Austin, TX on September 12th.  The event is FREE and open to the public!  

Click here to learn more and register today!