Health. Right. Now.

We are an organization dedicated to empowering youth, educating the public, and fighting for a healthier world.

Photo of Claire zzstu Swadling
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Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

01/11/04

Help us stay in touch!

Claire Swadling 41943 East Ann Arbor Trail, Plymouth, MI 48170 Phone: 734-453-3456 (home--for calls please) 734-834-1965 (personal--texts only please)

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Website: healthrightnow.org Instagram: @health.right.now

Date You Started Your Project Started

9/5/18

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Heart disease. Diabetes. Obesity. Cancer. Year after year, you hear how these maladies are continually on the rise. But why? Why does the world continue to get sicker and sicker, despite the tremendous amount of effort put forth by hundreds of well-meaning scientists and educators? The answer lies not in our lack of initiative but in our flawed approach. We need to actively engage our communities if we want to make a real change in the world.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Health. Right. Now. aims to simultaneously educate the public while creating the next generation of health advocates by guiding youth through the execution of health-advocacy event they are passionate about. We do this through school clubs (currently we have one middle and one high school) in which a student leader walks the members through a unique curriculum written by our founder, Claire Swadling. Each week, the club helps the students (working in groups or individually) with one particular aspect of the event planning process. Our curriculum is in the form of informative slideshows, and gives ample space for young changemakers to combine their passions and creativity with a health-related educational topic (ex: processed food, sleep deprivation, mental health, etc). Each chapter of HRN also runs one bigger event that all students help plan, fostering camaraderie while strengthening team-working skills. At the end of the club cycle (6-7 weeks), students submit a reflection and the number of people impacted by their chapter. This feedback allows us to continually improve our clubs and add the number to that on our website so we can see the change we are making.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

It all started in my sixth-grade health class. After being assigned to watch a seemingly run-of-the-mill documentary, I was shocked to learn the truth about our food supply and even more astounded by how little we were doing about it. I knew I needed to do something. After many hours of reading and researching, I created a presentation on the harmful effects of added sugar to present to my community. I was delighted to get it approved by Dr. Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF, and best-selling author of the book Fat Chance. I have presented to over 250 people across seven different locations. The feeling that I had made a difference in people's lives really hit home, however, I knew I needed to do more. I was troubled that most of my attendees were adults--youth are the leaders of tomorrow, so it's just as important to get them involved. That's where HRN comes in.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

We can't wait around for the government to ban trans-fats, cut out added sugar, or re-formulate processed foods. Anyone, no matter their age, has the potential to make a positive impact on their health and those of others. Help us make the change we all need. Right. Now.

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Let's say a student fills out the contact form on our website, wanting to start a club at their school. We would reply with our welcome packet, suggested calendar, and our slideshow curriculum. After that, we'd let them take lead of their chapter, providing guidance along the way if need be. The student would then work with his/her club members to combine their passions with a health issue. For example, if a student was passionate about playing the violin and wanted to encourage mental health, he/she may organize a violin workshop for stressed middle school students. At the end of the club cycle, the student leader would need to submit personal reflections from each of the people involved in their club, an event report for each event conducted, and the number of people their club impacted. This feedback will allow us to continually improve HRN and share their triumphs on our website.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Our organization is unique in that it gives youth the power to decide for themselves what type of health advocacy effort they would like to pursue. By allowing student advocates to combine their passion with a health topic of their choosing, we can make events that bring meaning to both the lives of the participants and the people they are hoping to impact. The more students are invested into their efforts, the bigger the change we can make.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

So far, our founder has impacted 258 people ages 5-50+ about the harmful effects of added sugar, however, she aims to double that number in the next few months with the chapters of HRN she established at her local high school and middle school as well as with the support from her teammates and club members.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Our current goal is to have chapters in each of the fifty states; we'd love to have people all across the country mobilized for a healthier world. In addition, we're also working with AI4ALL, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping expose youth to artificial intelligence, in order to find ways to tie computer science in with health advocacy. This would provide youth with yet another essential skill to ensure our future is in the best hands. Widening our range of impact is always on our minds. Also, we're currently applying for 501(c)(3) status. Wish us luck!

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Public Relations

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)
  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Religious minority (non-Christian)
  • Other

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Search engine
  • Recommended by others
  • Email

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

AI4ALL

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Photo of Prayag zzstu Shankar
Team

This organization is a great idea for our community and has a single goal in mind. Through proper action, it looks like this organization will take a giant (and important) step for healthy bodies and healthy minds all over the world. Love the work and wish you luck!

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