Promote health in 100 teens in Portland, Oregon

by MIKE Program
May 22, 2013

Teens Teaching Teens

MIKE Program Youth at Miller Education Center
MIKE Program Youth at Miller Education Center

Teens Teaching Teens with a “Kidney Karnival”

Convincing eighth graders that they can manage the health of their kidneys may be a hard sell for some. Such information is usually shrugged off until much later in life. But as MIKE Program youth have found, it’s important to share the information with teens who are beginning to establish life-long habits. So when 25 teens enrolled in MIKE Program’s afterschool program were planning their Health Leadership Project they knew just how to convey the message—with a “Kidney Karnival.”

Together with their health teacher, Therese Rice, and mentors Shannon Douglas, Christine Meyers and Kim Whitney, the teens developed an afternoon of instructional fun for their younger peers. The teens presented the information through interactive games to gently introduce important information that their younger peers would understand.

The eighth graders rotated between four separate stations which provided short demonstrations and games. The station themes included anatomy of a kidney, make-a-kidney, kidney vocabulary and kidney function. The youth used many of the same curriculum materials from which they learned about kidneys to help reinforce their newly-gained knowledge.


Teens Teaching Teens with a Health Fair

MIKE Program youth at Rosemary Anderson High School used a similar concept for their Health Leadership Project, yet on a much grander scale. They hosted a Health Fair for their entire school. Besides hosting multiple stations which focused on physical fitness, the fair offered an aerobic and blood pressure clinic, a cooking healthy station and a competitive tug-of-war.

Volunteers from OHSU monitored the aerobic and blood pressure clinics, providing students with an immediate response to checking vitals. Besides giving the young medical students an opportunity to work with the teens, the youth were exposed to a variety of health careers.

Rosemary Anderson High School alumnus Jasmyne Romero hosted a healthy food station, where she demonstrated how to make a healthy pasta dish. Now starting her professional career at Veritable Quandary, Romero shared her thoughts about cooking healthy with the teens, then served up a yummy example.

MIKE Program Advisory Board member Kim Filla, director of community programs at the school, along with MIKE Program site facilitators, Leigh Rappaport and Mike Napoli, who host MIKE Program in their Health/Leadership Academy and Science classes, supported the youth in hosting the annual event. Filla started the event off with a school-wide physical activity. “Research shows that youth need to do some type of exercise that raises their heart rate,” said Filla, who has 15 years as a physical fitness trainer. “Just by increasing exercise, you can relieve stress and depression.”

For the youth, like project coordinators Marz and Dashanique, the event helps shape leadership skills and bolsters self-confidence, while allowing the teens to share what they learned with others. The pair worked with their fellow classmates to organize the events, plan a healthy lunch menu, make posters and invite volunteers. The MIKE Program youth were cheered by their school mates before they led the school to lunch.

After rousing games of hoops, double-dutch, relays and push up competitions, the school converged on the gym floor for a series of tug-of-war challenges. Even the staff and teachers joined in the fun. The event culminated in a healthy burrito lunch.


Teens Teaching Teens Thrive with Teachers

David Mickola, health teacher at De La Salle North Catholic High School, was recognized recently for his outstanding work and partnership with MIKE Program. Mickola, who teaches freshman health and physical education at De La Salle North Catholic High School, has been an integral part of the success of the program at the school. He participates with great enthusiasm during the individual lesson plans, as well as offering his support for the teens’ Health Leadership Projects.

Now, finishing his fourth year with MIKE Program, Mickola also serves with the organization’s Education and Mentoring Committee. The committee is busy working on revisions to the curriculum and other support materials. Mickola even wrote an article about MIKE Program for his school’s newsletter earlier this year.

MIKE Program trumpets Mickola’s recognition and his dedication to improving the lives of young people! Partnerships with teachers like Mickola truly encourage healthier futures for teens.

MIKE Program Youth at Rosemary Anderson HS
MIKE Program Youth at Rosemary Anderson HS
MIKE Program Site Facilitator David Mickola
MIKE Program Site Facilitator David Mickola



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Organization Information

MIKE Program

Location: Portland, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Cheryl Neal
Portland, OR United States
$2,310 raised of $272,133 goal
13 donations
$269,823 to go
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