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Student organization awarded grant to help combat obesity

Enactus2016
UNG's Enactus team will use funding to address a community health need, engage a small business and leverage technology.

The University of North Georgia's (UNG) Enactus team, a student organization that strives to make the world a better place by applying an entrepreneurial attitude to community service, was recently awarded $4,500 in grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Walmart and Unilever.

The team will use the funding to support their current initiative Flip Your Dog for Better Health – a project aimed at teaching healthy habits, including regular exercise and nutrition, to school age children and older adults.

Georgia ranks fifth in the nation in childhood obesity and has an increasing rate of Type II Diabetes, especially among people under the age of 25. At the same time, many schools have cut back on physical education and recess.

Working with a Hall County small business, Flip Your Dog Yoga Studio, the team hopes to introduce yoga as a healthy form of exercise to the community.

"We plan to work with the school system, senior organizations, our local children's museum, and Interactive Neighborhood for Kids (INK) to reach younger students as well as their parents," said Valerie Moore, Enactus team president. "We also will work with the Boys and Girls Club and the housing authorities who serve our large Hispanic and African American communities."

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Students for Health Project Accelerator provides the opportunity for Enactus U.S. teams/college students to implement new or existing initiatives to improve the health and wellness of the communities surrounding their respective universities. Project tracks should address a community health need, engage small business, or leverage technology.

The other grants were awarded through the Walmart Women's Economic Empowerment program and Unilever's Bright Futures Project Partnership.

"As young leaders, the UNG team brings strength to this project through its diversity," said Katie Simmons, associate dean of student services in the Mike Cottrell College of Business. "We have members who speak several languages and represent the Hispanic, African American and Asian communities, and are studying a variety of majors including computer science, marketing and communications."

The project will run from October 2016 through April 2017.

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