Baden High School celebrated Valentine’s Day by hosting “A Better You” conference, a day of creative, interactive events designed to help students on their way to a bright and prosperous future. Students in Andrea Vizenor’s Hotel and Hospitality R.O.P. class as well as students in Meredith Holden’s health class organized the conference. More than fifteen community members volunteered their time to participate in a panel presenting a variety of career and higher-education opportunities to students, including Hilda Montanez from the NCP College of Nursing, and Stacey Dague, a Deputy Probation Officer for San Mateo County, just to name a few. Ms. Montanez, Ms. Dague, and others shared their real-life career experiences, and answered students’ questions about their professions.
Another set of community volunteers, including Raul Castillo of Raul Castillo Martial Arts and professional trainers from 24-Hour Fitness in Pacifica, led small groups of students through different physical fitness actives, ranging from Zumba to CrossFit. After a nutritious snack, students broke into small groups and attended a student-directed demonstration on nutrition in which students calculated and measured out the sixteen tablespoons of sugar in one 20-oz bottle of Coke.
The day concluded with a presentation from Lisa Frederiksen, the author of nine books on addiction, substance abuse, and at-risk drinking. According to one Baden High School student, “I found it useful to learn about drug and alcohol myths because a lot of things I thought were true turned out not to be. I can apply what I now know towards being ‘A Better Me’ by making better life choices.”