Promote health in 100 teens in Portland, Oregon

Mar 1, 2013

Mentors Prepare Youth for a Healthier Future

Mentor Mariel Orbita (on left) congratulates Anna
Mentor Mariel Orbita (on left) congratulates Anna

MIKE Program Mentors Mark Closure with Achievements

A highlight of mentoring with MIKE Program is the program closing ceremony. The activity marks the accomplishments of both the youth and mentors.

Ten mentors volunteered for the fall semester at De La Salle North Catholic High School. Their efforts encouraged 48 freshmen to gain knowledge and skills to lead healthier lives. Anna, one of the freshmen in the program, noted that MIKE Program “helped me put my mind in the right direction for being healthy.”

Anna was teamed with Mentor Mariel Orbita who chose MIKE Program to make a difference in the lives of young people. “I strongly believe that the most effective way to impact health in our current society is by starting at the source,” said Mariel, a nursing student at the University of Portland. “I believe that a mentor can have such a large impact on a student as they are readily available as a resource and as a person who can guide them without much of the pressure that one can feel from someone in an authority position.”

The mentors, many of whom are health professions students at Portland State University, University of Portland, Marylhurst University and Linfield College, contributed a combined total of 324 classroom hours, in addition to training and other preparation time. Others making such commitments with Mariel included: Danielle Ali-Cassim, Richard Burton, Ali Duffens, Cody Gehring, Greg Kluthe, Ryan McCurine, Arie Roskott, Sunshine Taylor and MIKE Program’s Kim Whitney.

Each mentor worked with a group of four or five teens, who celebrated the achievements of the youth by handing out certificates and youth-designed t-shirts. The t-shirts reflected healthy messages which help the youth spread the word after the semester ends.

Five mentors, including MIKE Program’s Kim Whitney, extended their commitment to De La Salle North Catholic High School for the Spring 2013 semester.


MIKE Program Youth Mix Health, Exercise and Nutrition in Outreach Efforts

A key component of MIKE Program is the outreach youth undertake with their Health Leadership Projects. The outreach activities provide the youth with opportunities to share what they learned about making healthier choices. For 48 freshmen at De La Salle North Catholic High School this past month, their efforts connected them and their healthy messages to 190 other young people in Portland.

The youth fanned out in teams of four to six for presentations at local elementary and middle schools. Kim Whitney, Program Coordinator with MIKE Program, accompanied her team to Holy Cross School for a presentation on physical fitness for fifth graders. The team created a “Kidney Facts” basketball game activity for a fun way to show how physical activity contributes to good health.

Mentor Cody Gehring’s team presented “A Day in the Life of MIKE Program” with a condensed version of several hands-on learning activities for eighth graders at George Middle School, while Richard Burton’s team visited Sabin Elementary School to guide youngsters through a “Make a Kidney” activity. For Vanessa, who teamed with Richard’s group, the best part of MIKE Program was “getting to go and teach others about kidneys.”

The MIKE Program Health Leadership Projects are youth-driven to better reinforce their experiences and knowledge.

It's basketball and kidneys for this youth project
Youth show "A Day in the Life of MIKE Program"
Youth show "A Day in the Life of MIKE Program"



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MIKE Program

Portland, OR, United States

Project Leader

Cheryl Neal

Portland, OR United States

Where is this project located?

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