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Bronx, NY (March 20, 2015) -- Students at Validus Preparatory Academy have organized a fashion show that will promote awareness around eating disorders, health, cultural pride, LGBTQ awareness and body image. The event will be held on Friday, March 27th* from 5:00 – 8:00 PM (1595 Bathgate Ave). Students will showcase their poetry, music, dance and fashion designs.
The fashion show will incorporate a range of health-related topics, including violence, self-esteem, LGBTQ acceptance and AIDS and cancer awareness. High school students at Validus have brought these important issues to the forefront of their communities, and health teacher Darlene Perez has supported her students’ interests and helped them organize the event. According to Ms. Perez, the planning committee for the fashion show was initially small—a group of 10 students who dedicated time both during and after the school day to organize the logistics of the event. Student interest grew rapidly over the course of the school year, with more than 50 students contributing in the weeks leading up to the show. Ms. Perez has played a critical role in the implementation of these programs, dedicating hours of her free time to supporting students in health and wellness initiatives.
“I believe that if you empower students, they will then learn to take initiative to lead a positive movement,” says Ms. Perez.
Validus Prep will partner with Bronx Teen Connection; Build ON; and The Body Project, a program of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) to host this event. The school was introduced to NEDA, as well as Chefs for Change, through Healthy Schools NY, a program of the NY State Department of Health implemented by the Institute for Family Health’s Bronx Health REACH initiative. Healthy Schools NY provides technical assistance to schools to implement programs and policies that promote school wellness. The Body Project has contributed to the overall theme of the upcoming fashion show, giving students a platform to actively promote health education and support their peers.
The Institute for Family Health (www.institute.org) is a federally qualified health center network that operates 27 practices in New York State with more than 90,000 patients served annually. Services are available to people of all ages, regardless of ability to pay.
Bronx Health REACH is committed to improving the health of Bronx residents by creating opportunities for residents to make healthy choices. The Bronx Health REACH coalition, led by the Institute for Family Health, includes over 70 community‐based organizations, schools, health care providers, faith‐based institutions, housing, and social service agencies. To learn more, please visit www.bronxhealthreach.org
*Note: This event has been rescheduled from March 20 due to the weather.