The good news is that New Jersey youth organizations are coming up with innovative new programs to prevent and reverse childhood obesity in their communities.
UnitedHealthcare is giving these organizations funding to implement their ideas through our HEROES grant program. UnitedHealth HEROES is a wellness initiative developed by UnitedHealthcare to encourage young people, working with educators and youth leaders, to develop creative ideas to help fight childhood obesity.
Grants of up to $1,000 were awarded to youth-led programs that include both an activity element, in which kids count their steps, and a service component that increases awareness, provides direct service, enables advocacy on behalf of a cause, or features youth philanthropy around the issue of childhood obesity. UnitedHealth HEROES projects began on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service (Jan. 21, 2013) and end on Global Youth Service Day (April 26-28, 2013).
Here is a list of New Jersey programs that received HEROES grants:
- Camden County 4-H Youth Development Program in Cherry Hill - Teen ambassadors will lead monthly physical activities in community parks to encourage younger students to lead healthy lives through the “Get Moving, Get Healthy with 4-H and the Rowan Upward Bound” initiative.
- Happy Hands Foundation in Newark - A youth leadership group will design and implement a health education campaign and raise awareness in the community through a 20-mile walk.
- Rutgers University in New Brunswick – In an effort to increase safe bike routes at all five campuses, the university will sponsor a 13 mile walk and ask middle and high school students to develop creative ideas to improve public transportation under the theme “If I Were Director of Transportation.”
To see a complete list of grant winners nationwide and their projects, visit www.ysa.org/HEROES.