On Thursday, September 15, 2016, twenty-three You're the Cure advocates from across Texas attended an Advocating for Heart event at the Capitol to raise their voices in support of obesity prevention policies during National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and Texas Obesity Awareness Week. We are so grateful for everyone's contributions to this amazing day!
The special guest speaker was Danee Rodriguez, age 16, from Weslaco High School in Weslaco. Danee is a winner of the 2016 Rising Star Award, presented to young Texans who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in their communities to raise awareness and reduce the burden of obesity. Danee and her teacher, Ms. Mary Martin, presented Danee’s outstanding project in collaboration with local coalitions to educate her fellow students on healthy food and how to get active. Everyone in the room had great questions and ideas following Danee’s presentation, discussing the issues and solutions they saw in their own communities. We loved all of the collaboration and inspiration in the room, and know it will continue beyond just that day.
Then, advocates learned how to connect their personal stories to food access and physical education, by walking through the who, why, what, and how of legislative meetings. After a bit of group practice, advocates headed to their meetings to ask legislators and their staff to increase access to healthy food in underserved areas and to examine the landscape of physical education across the state, in order to help Texas kids get a healthier start to their lives.
Advocates of a variety of roles, ages, and experience levels came to the Capitol from different areas of the state. Making the trip to Austin were members of the You're the Cure Grassroots Action Teams and State Leadership Council for Obesity Prevention; parents, kids, and teachers from a school in Del Valle; health equity interns from San Antonio; and coalition partners from Dallas. Many more advocates participated from home, sending 250 emails to their state legislators while their fellow advocates were hitting the halls of the Capitol.
Thank you for making your voices heard on childhood obesity! You are making a difference. If you wish to join these advocates in their efforts, please sign up on this page.