Archive for September, 2011

Girl Scouts Make an Impact in East Austin

Mention the words “Girl Scouts” and most people’s minds will jump to the one thing they know and love best about the organization: the cookies.  But behind the iconic, brightly colored boxes filled with those mysteriously irresistible confections are real girls with real stories who have joined the Girl Scouts on their way to becoming strong, responsible women.

For nearly a century, the Girl Scouts of America have helped girls of all ages develop confidence, social conscience, and leadership skills that they can use and build on for the rest of their lives.  The Girl Scouts of Central Texas continue this mission daily through tight-knit troops all over Austin and various neighborhood initiatives.  One such initiative is taking place in East Austin, where girls at East Austin College Prep and the surrounding Govalle/Johnston Terrace neighborhood are given the opportunity to spend time with and learn from Girl Scout leaders.

Over the 2010-2011 school year, girls at East Austin Prep completed a leadership curriculum taught by local Girl Scout volunteers.  While the Girl Scout program was a requirement for girls in the fall, they were given the choice to continue or opt out during the spring.  The girls formed two troops, one for each the 6th and 7th grade.  Although the girls participating in the Girl Scouts have their fees waived, they engage in many of the activities of a typical troop, including the ever-anticipated cookie sales.  In addition, the girls took an active lead in community service by setting up games for kids to play at the monthly Capital Area Food Bank Mobile Food Pantry offered at the Southwest Key Headquarters.  Another significant accomplishment was a vegetable garden that they planted and continue to tend to in front of the Café del Sol.  Vegetables grown in the garden are then routinely used in the Café’s menu items.

This summer, the Girl Scouts continue their leadership program in conjunction with the 2011 STEM Summer Institute taking place at East Austin College Prep.  The Girl Scouts have proven a valuable partner to East Austin College Prep and their program promises to continue to flourish.

– Kelle Kampa
Communications Intern

September 12, 2011 at 8:15 am Leave a comment

Community Health Spotlight: Rosewood Zaragosa Neighborhood Center

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, has become increasingly prevalent in the United States as stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, and other risk factors become more common.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, as of 2008, one in three adults over age 20 suffers from hypertension.  Many of the poorest Americans may go undiagnosed, a troubling thought since hypertension can be a contributing factor to many other illnesses.  For those who cannot see their doctor regularly, it is important that they find a way to routinely monitor their blood pressure.  The Rosewood Zaragosa Neighborhood Center provides just this service for residents of East Austin.

Every second Friday of the month, volunteers from Rosewood Zaragosa offer free blood pressure screenings to recipients of the Capital Area Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry, hosted at the Southwest Key Headquarters in East Austin.  As the line for food distribution accumulates, volunteers can check individuals’ blood pressure for them so they can know whether it is within the healthy range or not.

By providing this simple, easily-accessible service to those in need, Rosewood Zaragosa Neighborhood Center is taking a small but substantial step in improving health knowledge in East Austin.  The more residents know about their blood pressure status and the risks of hypertension, the more empowered they are to be proactive in addressing their personal health and the health of their families.

– Kelle Kampa
Communications Intern

September 7, 2011 at 9:28 am Leave a comment

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