As a high school student and Health Ambassador for a Ready Texas (HART), Amy Escalante is dedicated to helping her school community tap into a healthier lifestyle. So when her principal asked her to spread the word about the It’s Time Texas Community Challenge, she jumped at the opportunity. While getting students on board was no easy feat, she never questioned that it was worth it. We sat down with Amy to learn more about how she got her school involved and the lessons she learned along the way.
What Motivated you to get involved in the It’s Time Texas Community Challenge?
As a Texas HART Ambassador, I want my community to live a healthy lifestyle. The It’s Time Texas Community Challenge allowed the community to do that. My school principal asked me if I could help tell the student body and their families about the challenge, something I was happy to do. Additionally, I have noticed that it is often difficult to get a person to want to make a lifestyle change in order to live healthier. However, the ITT Challenge made being healthy fun for all ages.
What goal did you have in mind?
As a school, I know we wanted to be winners. However, my goal was just to help as many people to participate as I could. To me it was more than just a contest and chance to win an award; it was helping the community that mattered the most to me.
Why is the Challenge important to you personally, as well as to your school?
I attend a school where we overlook our physical and mental health for the sake of our academic success. Therefore, this challenge helped us remember to do the little things like drink more water or take a daily walk. Since it’s the little things that can spark a bigger change.
How did you see your school come together for the Community Challenge?
When we want something, we give our best effort to get it. Because of the Challenge, classes and teachers would often take a walk outside in order to log in the points. We had teachers that would encourage and remind their students to keep up with the Challenge. I myself would remind my peers through social media posts and handing out water and healthy snacks.
What impact did the Community Challenge have at your school?
The biggest impact that the Challenge had was the level of participation. We had both staff and students trying to live healthier lifestyles.
How do you plan to keep the momentum going throughout the year?
As a HART ambassador, I will use my role to continue to promote a healthy lifestyle. Currently, I am working on promoting an art contest that encourages students to portray how healthy foods can benefit their lifestyle.
What lessons have you learned from championing the Community Challenge at your school?
One of the lessons that I have learned is that nothing ever comes easy. It was difficult to try to get everyone registered, to participate, and to keep up with the Challenge. However, thanks to the amazing team of faculty we have, it was easy to get help when needed.
What would you say to inspire other students and schools across Texas to get involved?
Living a healthy lifestyle is vital if we want to succeed. It allows us to do so much more than if we don’t treat our body correctly. It’s never easy to make a lifestyle change, but it is definitely worth it.
Join the movement for a healthier Texas.
Every day, we’re inspired by the stories of Texans championing the movement to create a culture of health in Texas. If you’re looking to get involved, you’ll find opportunities through our programs and events, including the #HealthyTexasWeek, coming up on April 29th! During this weeklong event, Texans are encouraged to Shop for healthy items, Sweat by getting physically active, and Share photos and videos of their healthy activities on social media for the chance to win prizes. Learn more – including ways to get your school or workplace involved – at www.healthytexasweek.com.