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I am excited to be invited to share and learn more about all the innovative approaches to promote the Health and Wellness of our Nation. Health outcomes in New Mexico are some of the worst in the United States. The consequence of widespread unhealthiness is low quality of life and lost productivity. Currently there is no Public Health Awareness Campaign in the state of New Mexico. There is no concerted effort to address the health and wellness of our citizens. Working as a registered nurse of 34 years, I have seen the consequences of unhealthy lifestyle choices and the devastation it causes to personal life and families.Adults and children have a chance to look, ponder, be inspired and amazed about their own human potential. They are challenged with new ideas, and are able to analyze their own ability to make healthy choices decisions. This helps to promote a new culture of Health Awareness in the community.
 The overall objective is to stimulate people’s interest to accept personal responsibility for their health and wellness provide and educational information.
The goal is to help citizens build a knowledge base and desire to significantly improve their quality of life and measurably reduce many preventable diseases for the next generation of New Mexico's citizens.

Thank you for your consideration to help promote Health and Wellness in our community.

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Stephen commented on Speak Up For Health!

7. Stepping outside of your project, what do you see as the most important or promising shifts that can advance children’s well-being?
The Speak Up for Health Program does direct us to an important and promising shift for children/young people. It helped me to recognize the impact of social empowerment in advancing their well-being. Educating our students about the value of health as wealth is empowering. Many young people have something to say but do not have the tools to speak in public effectively and with comfort. Sharpening communication abilities helps young people succeed in a world that demands confidence, articulation and the ability to clearly communicate ideas. By building superior speaking skills, students will prepare to excel in school, attain their dream jobs, defend their beliefs and values, and become leaders in their schools and communities.”
There are 5 benefits that focusing on School Public Speaking through programs such as Speak Up for Health:
1. Public speaking is a necessary and indispensable life skill, and most people are called upon to speak in public at some point in their lives.
2. Public speaking improves research and organization abilities- crucial skills for high school and college success.
3. Employers rank public speaking as one of the top skills they look for in employees. Students can get a head start on their dream careers by developing skills that will translate in the workforce.
4. Speech and debate activities involve “active construction of knowledge.” Students have the opportunity to synthesize, analyze, and utilize new information, rather than merely memorizing facts. According to Communication Education, debate can increase critical thinking skills by 44% in one year and high school reading skills by as much as 25% in one year.
5. Speech helps develop social skills, such as confidence, eye contact, poise, and articulation.
It’s no secret that people throughout history have used the power of public speaking to make a difference. Now students will have the opportunity to speak to a captive audience about health and wellness. They will get a chance to influence their peers by learning and speaking up about what is really important in life. More importantly, students can continue to speak up and in small ways effectively make a difference that will impact someone in their families and communities. So its value expands beyond the confines of each event. HCHF has brought this program to local schools with much success.