Friday, May 9, 2014

Healthy Cowboy Challenge

For over the past 12 weeks, our anatomy classes have engulfed themselves in the lifestyles of teachers and administration in our district who wanted to achieve new fitness and health goals. Set up as a competition, the "Healthy Cowboy Challenge"-as we called it- paired a teacher with two students to create and keep track of healthy living and eating choices to help their client achieve weight loss, decrease in blood pressure or overall body fat, and knowledge about nutrition and the best things you can do to maintain good health. Not only was this project fun and challenging, but it helped us learn a lot-as students- about creating healthy habits in our lives now. My partner and I created many posters and charts, but one of our client's favorite products was a ThingLink of a food pyramid where you can scroll over the food groups we are supposed to be getting each day and how you can incorporate them into your meals and facts about each group and how they add to your health. I learned from this project what foods provide which vitamins, minerals, and nutrition our bodies need and easy ways to still enjoy what i like to eat, just in healthier versions. Our client not only gained the loss of a few pounds over this project but also the awareness of what he is putting into his body and small changes he can make in his diet and exercise to better his overall health. This project was very rewarding for both teachers and students; the only suggestion i would have to improving it would be to have check in more often to really help and give continuous face to face encouragement to the clients.

Link to ThingLink:

Interactive Food Pyramid

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Black Light Run

This past Saturday evening, March 22, I participated in the Black Light Run that was held at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie. Two of my friends and I braced the frigid night air with neon glow sticks and clothing and joined over 3,000 runners for a 5k that lasted through the night. The run was a throng of energy and excitement in which included lights, music, and checkpoints throughout the course of the run where volunteers threw glow powder on us and we became covered in neon colors. The race ended inside the ballpark at Lone Star and commemorated with more powder, glow sticks, and a concert. Although my friends and i came out of the pack of people looking like zombies, it was well worth it and a fun run that i would encourage everyone to do at some point. Running is an essential and easy way to be active and healthy in your lifestyle and incorporating fun into it makes exercising easier than ever. The benefits of physical activity also promote positive effects on brain function in multiple ways. It increases heart rate to pump more oxygen to the brain, it releases hormones that stimulate the growth of brain cells, it facilitates information processing and memory functions, and ultimately improves brain health that will help your cranium stay on its A-game for longer. I encourage everyone to get up and get moving in any way you can each day for even 20 minutes to start improving your overall health and brain health today! 

(Below) Me at the Black Light Run! :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

TED Talk

We all know vaccines help us not get sick, but how exactly do they work and what progress are they making at preventing fatal sicknesses facing global population such as HIV, AIDS, malaria and the flu? A vaccine is, essentially, a cure for an illness or disease. Over the years through science and innovative technology, we have solved very serious sicknesses with them in which they help a body's immune system prepare in advance how to fight off infection. When a vaccine is injected, it gives a preview of the type or strand of bacterium (that cannot get you sick because it is dead or weakened) of a certain illness so that if ever infected with that pathogen, the body already has a first line of defense and knows how to invade and kill it off. The body has created "memory cells" that recognize it and give the antibodies directions of how to prevent the infectious bacteria from getting out. Vaccines have changed the health of our world and kept hundreds of millions of people alive and well. In today's world, especially in underdeveloped countries, malaria, AIDS, and other pandemics have wiped out populations and socially and economically set up countries for failure. In America, epidemiologists like Seth Berkley, who talked at the TED convention in Long Beach, California February of 2010, gave us insight to new vaccines being tested that could solve the issues to these diseases. After watching the video, i have learned that smart advances of vaccines are being made and put into action, like in Thailand, that show a vaccine they have created for AIDS, is possible and effective. Although there is still a lot of room for improvement and adjustments to be made, it excites me to know that possibilities to save more people are being made. Specifically, Berkley fundamentally proves the procedure to making this vaccine by stating, "The Thai results tell us we can make an AIDS vaccine, and the antibody findingstell us how we might do that. This strategy, working backwards from an antibody to create a vaccine candidate,has never been done before in vaccine research. It's called retro-vaccinology, and its implications extend way beyond that of just HIV. So think of it this way. We've got these new antibodies we've identified, and we know that they latch onto many, many variations of the virus. We know that they have to latch onto a specific part, so if we can figure out the precise structure of that part, present that through a vaccine, what we hope is we can promptyour immune system to make these matching antibodies. And that would create a universal HIV vaccine".The question is, will they ever get that "perfect" vaccine and when will it actually be able to be distributed? Production to getting these vaccines to the developing world must be quick and exploitable. If we set up distribution stations in the countries we are targeting, we give a chance at helping populations quickly and cost efficiently. The answers and science are there, so creating a stop to illness epidemics for good is not something we can only dream of.

For more information on Seth Berkley or to watch the TED Talk, visit this website:
The Vaccine Strategy

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Health Without Borders

In my anatomy class, we have an ongoing iTunes U course about health and wellness that anyone all over the world can access and use as a learning device. With much more popularity than we expected,  we have continued to add our own projects into the curriculum to help our viewers learn how they can be healthier. This six weeks I am especially proud of  my group'so final project in which we wrote and recorded a song that teaches bones and bone health. We took the popular song by Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj, "Beauty and a Beat" and came up with our own, original lyrics. Our message is catchy and clear and hopefully will be a great learning tool for those who like learning through the ear and incorporating music! Below is the link to the song that you can download.

Beauty and A Bone

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Using My Strengths

In my second six weeks of senior year, I have worked on assignments within my extracurricular activities, including Red Jackets, which is a group of 32 senior students that are chosen each year as the "face" of Coppell High School. In our monthly meeting in October, we used the book "Strengths Based Leadership" to which strengths we all possess. Specifically, we took one of the most well-known personality tests online, called Strengths-finder where we each went through a series of multiple questions evaluating our personality types and how we favored certain things or not. At the end, it evaluates your answers and presents you with the top 5 strengths you have. Not completely shocked, my top 5 strengths were Achiever, Discipline, Strategic, Developer, and Responsibility. Although some of these were not a surprise, some of them did come as a shock. In addition to finding these out, we worked all day on understanding our strengths, where and how we use them, how they are beneficial and sometimes also work against us, and most importantly, how to work together and compare our strengths to those of others. It was an assignment I had never done before but thought was very interesting and cool to figure out, since most of the time we, as people, focus primarily on our weaknesses. We then took it a step further and developed a mission statement for our lives that entailed using our strengths. Below I have attached the definitions of my strengths and my mission statement. I encourage everyone to take the test at to uncover the traits they may not have ever realized they had.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sharing the Gospel

This past six weeks I have also had the chance to progress in work outside of school. I am a leader for a Young Life Girl's Bible Study organization called Coffee Talk. We meet once a month and discuss relevant high school girl issues, ultimately bringing girls to the word of Christ and spreading the love and grace of Jesus. As I have been involved in this group over the past four years of high school, I have been blessed to have the opportunity to move into a leadership position in which I-and my partner- get to mentor over a small group of freshmen girls. We meet them, love on them, pray for them, and pour into them as much as we can. We get to give them advice over high school and be there for whatever they need. This month was the kickoff and we had our first meeting that went better than I could have ever imagined. I now have met the girls that I feel have been chosen to be in my group for a specific reason only God  knows and has planned. This privilege is important to me, for I get the chance to mentor girls inside and outside of school and teaches me responsibility, commitment, and accountability to pursue the Lord and His path for me.

Obsession Essay

This past week, I wrote my first Dual Credit Essay in which was a reflection over our Unit 1 topic-Obsession. We-as human beings- are all obsessed with different types of things whether it is a physical product or specific activity, routine, etc. Our assignment was broad-we simply had to write a 2 page paper over something that we are obsessed with. It was free range, being anything and everything our unique selves enjoy on a daily basis. For me, country music was the first thing that popped into my head when brainstorming. Writing this essay came easy for me, and I enjoyed writing about something I am so passionate about. In my essay I explained my personal encounter with country music from the beginning of my obsession and how it has transgressed to now. I think this piece not only reflects my strength of writing a personal narrative, but also is a clear insight to a part of my life that I've never had the chance to write down my feelings towards. Country music is a big part of who I am, who my family is, and what I know will never change about my personality. It is my escape, my strength and weakness, and the thing in life that I could not live without.

Country Music Obsession Essay