Elon students ask local children to 'Commit to Fit'
An event that brought sixth and seventh graders from Alamance County to campus equipped them with lessons that will lead to healthy choices.
By Erin Turner '15
Almost a dozen Elon University student organizations teamed up to teach more than 40 young girls from Alamance County how to stay healthy during a Nov. 1 event called "Commit to Fit."
The Kappa Zeta chapter of Sigma Kappa sorority sponsored the event, which encouraged the girls to visit stations set up in Moseley Center where they learned about healthier eating opinions, got tips on relieving stress and participated in group exercises.
The event was held in partnership with Girls to Empower Teens (GET), a one-on-one mentoring program that matches young girls with college women in order to promote confidence and health education. Members of the program meet weekly at Elon and bring together sixth and seventh grade girls from all over Alamance County.
Elon senior Kylee Bushway founded GET. Bushway is a public health and psychology double-major who says she's always been in love with the idea of empowering and teaching young girls ways they can live healthily at an early age.
“I got involved in a program called Girls in Motion my freshman year and really loved it," she said. "After mentoring girls in fourth and fifth grade with body image, self-esteem, nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits, I decided to expand this program. We saw great results in self-esteem, body image and physical activity when the girls were in fourth and fifth grade, but when we followed up with the same girls in the program after they transitioned into middle school we noticed a significant regression.”
Sigma Kappa awarded Bushway a $2,500 grant, which she put toward Commit to Fit and the GET program.
Junior Katharine Umbdenstock will be taking over the program next year after Bushway graduates in the spring.
“It’s going to be really hard for me to leave GET because it’s my baby," Bushway said, "but I have faith in the students who are here, and I know that I’m leaving it in good hands for the program to only get better."
Students interested in mentoring during the 2014-2015 academic school year should contact Elizabeth Bailey, lecturer in Health and Human Performance at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are accepted once a year at the beginning of the fall semester.