Posted: Feb 18, 2013 6:30 PM by Morgan Frances - firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Feb 18, 2013 6:44 PM
KINGSVILLE - Some kingsville high school students are using a competition to target the problem of childhood obesity and one student, in particular, is using his past weight struggles to connect with other kids and hopefully make a difference in their lives. Jaime Cantu struggled with obesity at a young age and grew up hearing all the names in the book.
"They would call me, 'Oh look at the fat boy. Look at him try to run,'" Cantu said. "Because I couldn't really run so I was trying to and every time they would pick teams I would always get picked last."
When his high school teacher announced he and some fellow students would be competing in a business contest by the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), Cantu knew exactly what his group's platform would be: putting an end to childhood obesity. The group developed a plan.
"We have two McDonalds, two Whataburgers and like a whole street of fast foods," said DECA competitor, Argelia Alanis, "and like it's a small town for a lot of fast foods."
Celest Loere, another DECA competitor said, "We kind of want it to be like a healthy living choice. not just a one-time thing."
The group started to target kids, parents and older siblings through fliers, publicizing health facts and hosting zumba classes all in hopes they can inspire kids to eat healthy and stay active.
"Whenever we do little stuff, they call us the 'Bumba kids' and we dance," Loere said. "One time we even got asked for autographs and it was so cute because they're so little."
Their teacher says it's refreshing and inspiring to see her students so passionate about a project.
Cantu relayed a message to kids who might be struggling with obesity saying, "First of all, you're not alone. That other people are going through the same thing."
Cantu says it's all worth it if by sharing his experience, he can help out someone else struggling with the same thing. The group will present it's project at the state competition here in Corpus Christi on February 28th. If they win that level, they'll go on to the national competition in California.
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