Students from across Kershaw county have begun taking action towards leading healthy lives while encouraging others to do the same.
In April 2018, LWK hosted Just Imagine It, a one-day workshop for high school students in Kershaw County to come together and create an action plan. During this workshop, students were taught key community solutions skills that can be embraced by students to begin to transform the culture in their schools for healthy living.
“The biggest thing that I’m taking away from this is the inspiration that I see from all the servant leaders around me,” Matthew Rush, a student at Camden Military Academy said. “It’s not easy coming up in front of everybody and saying, ‘This is how we need to change,’ not how we’re doing good. It’s difficult to point out our flaws rather than where we’re succeeding. So, you all really inspired me with that.”
Before Just Imagine It, LWK held focus groups at each Kershaw County high school. During these meetings, LWK coalition members asked students about their definition of living a healthy life and how they thought their schools could improve. The information from these conversations was summarized and incorporated into the Just Imagine It workshop.
During Just Imagine It, students were challenged to determine one or two realistic actions that can be done by August 2018 to make each school healthier. They also heard presentations from The Honorable James Davis, Chief Magistrate for Kershaw County, Thoyd Warren, Executive Director at Sumter County Disabilities & Special Needs Board, and State Rep. Laurie Slade Funderburk.
Student Led Action
Here’s what Kershaw County students plan to do following Just Imagine it, a one-day workshop held by the LiveWell Kershaw Coalition:
Camden High School
Camden High students hope to focus on mental health by having a group meet during lunch to have a discussion on everyday problems and to just get to know more people.
“Today I’ve learned that high schools from a lot of different places all want generally the same thing,” Sierra Fry, a sophomore at Camden High School said during Just Imagine It. “Mental health, more social situations where everybody feels included. It’s really been eye-opening how many people want more focus on mental health. It was really nice to be in this discussion.”
Camden Military Academy
Camden Military Academy students plan to implement “On the Move,” a youth group that will be an outlet for students to seek advice or counsel. The group will be overseen by the chaplain and supported by the school’s foundation.
“After this event, we’re planning on going to our headmaster after we talk to the chaplain at our school to set up a club for the students at our school to have an outlet or a place to go to, to meet up and talk about things that may be going on it their lives.”
Lugoff-Elgin High School
Lugoff-Elgin High students want to launch a social media campaign to connect with other schools and get people talking about health instead of gossip. They plan to create an Instagram account and become a resource for students to ask questions about healthy lifestyles.
“It’s been really interesting connecting with all these people from around the county,” Keri, a student from Lugoff-Elgin High School said. “I’ve always believed that my generation is going to try and change because we don’t want to die at seventy or sixty because of fast food restaurants. I really believe because of today we’re going to do things when we leave today and try to make the world a better place.”
North Central High School
North Central High School students plan to focus on education and support by creating a student-led organization concentrating on healthy living and seeking grants to get fresh produce in the school.
“We’re creating a student-led organization that allows students to come together and discuss ways to help make an impact,” said Bree Anderson, a senior from North Central High School. “We’re planning to introduce fresh fruit into the school by allowing students to get fresh fruit whenever they’re leaving and take it home. So, it would gain a new way for them to access fresh fruit and make a better choice.”