Reporter - Danielle Lerner

Mar 7, 2012 11:30 AM by Danielle Lerner

Hundreds of Pima County students promote health and wellness at Youth Summit

More than 200 students throughout Pima County are making health and wellness a top priority. They took part in a youth summit Wednesday, hosted by the Pima County Health Department and the U of A.

Twenty-two schools in seven districts from all across the county got involved in the all-day summit at the Sheraton Hotel. It is something they have been preparing for all year. It started with some fun and games but the reason behind it is serious. Obesity in young adults is a growing concern across Arizona and Pima County.

"We're at one of the highest rates in the nation so it's an important aspect for us to have it in the schools, so it can be carried out into the community," said Gregory Rivera, a program coordinator for the Pima County Health Department.

The students are part of the "SWAT" program, which stands for "Student Wellness Advocacy Team." They educate younger kids about the importance of staying active and advocate for positive changes in their schools and communities.

They're pushing for everything from better vending machine options, to more organized physical activities.

"We're going to share what we've been doing, we're going to learn from other people about what they've been doing and then we're going to try and incorporate all these things into all the different schools," said Kayla Darris, a senior at Mountain View High School.

The wellness initiative tackles more than just eating right and staying active. It also covers tough topics like cyberbullying and drunk driving prevention.

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