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Mentoring Teens on Healthy Eating Habits

Ms. Simone Williams and the Diamondz present me with a Certificate of Appreciation

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to speak to the young members of the Diamondz in the Ruff Leadership and Mentoring Program.  When Ms. Simone Williams, founder and program coordinator, invited me to speak to the young Diamondz, I jumped at the chance to share my knowledge and experience with them.  I enjoy mentoring our youth, especially young teenage girls. This is the time where they become conscientious of their bodies and tend to measure their self-worth by how others view them.  It’s been my experience that teens just want to be heard. If adults take the time to speak WITH them as oppose to speak TO them regarding the different challenges and changes they face during their teenage years.  We can help them to overcome or even avoid certain pitfalls.    This program provides them the opportunity and nurturing environment for them to express thoughts and opinions without fear of judgment.

I opened our discussion by asking the girls if they ate breakfast on a regular basis, what they had for breakfast and the importance of having a good breakfast.  They brought a lot of background information to the discussion. We then looked at some suggested breakfast meals.  They were not shy about expressing their likes and dislikes for certain foods!  So we discuss alternative food choices.  We then went on to discuss what constituted a healthy lunch, dinner and snack.  We also touched the importance of drinking water and some tips to help them make better food choices in different settings.  These young ladies brought great questions and great energy to the discussion

Ms. Williams openly shared her fitness and health journey with the girls.  She wanted them to understand that everyone’s journey is different but the ultimate goal is to be healthy.   She developed and patterned the program based upon her own experience as a mentee.  She fondly remembers her mentor referring to her as a “diamond in the rough”.  She found the experience life changing and wants to give other young girls the same experience.

At the close of the session Ms. Williams and the Diamondz invited me to join their affirmation circle.  One Diamond begins by looking at the fellow Diamond next to her and states “You are beautiful”. That Diamond responds “Thank You” and goes on to say to the next Diamond, “You are beautiful”.  This goes on until they complete the circle.  Ms. Williams asked one the Diamondz to explain the purpose of the affirmation.  The young Diamond explained that not everyone gets to hear those words on a regular basis.  Saying those words can help to brighten someones day.  So they close each session in the same way.  These young ladies are being taught to love others and in doing so they are also being taught to love themselves.

Although the program currently services students from New Visions H.S. (August Martin High School Campus);  I have no doubt that it will grow to service even more young ladies in need of someone who will take their time to polish them until their brilliance shines.

Be Fitter, Healthier and Happier!