Sarah Uriarte, a junior at South Pasadena High School, was prompted to organize the school’s first-ever Health Fair after noticing a troubling trend among her classmates. For an increasing number of students, it seemed to Uriarte, feeling stressed had become normalized.
“That bothers me,” she said recently, “especially because a lot of kids who struggle with their physical and mental health don’t have access to information that might help them.”
Uriarte conceived of the Health Fair as a means of equipping students with at least some of that information. Representatives from roughly 15 organizations responded to Uriarte’s invitation to attend the event, which was held during lunch last Friday, March 23 in the SPHS main gym.
Members of the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine set up booths about sleep disorders, family medicine and stress tips. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Lifesaver Education, the YMCA, South Pasadena Smiles, APLA Health, Planned Parenthood, SPHS Peer Mediators, and LA CADA, among others, also set up booths.
Uriarte was all smiles greeting students as they filled the gym. Wandering from booth to booth, they collected informational pamphlets, listened to health experts, and participated in instructional activities (such as learning to administer CPR).
The Health Fair is the first part of Uriarte’s Girl Scouts Gold Award project. Next, she plans to organize a series of community health panels that would feature local health and medicine professionals.
In August, Uriarte founded the Tiger Medicine Club. Today, the group of about 20 kids gather regularly.
Club members helped set up booths and provided input on the types of health experts they would like to invite to the Health Fair.