Healthy Divas Make a Difference

A session at The Priester National Extension Health Conference

Thursday 12th April, 2012

8:45am to 9:45am (EST)

Donna Fryman
Fleming County Cooperative Extension Service
University of Kentucky

Gwen O'Cull
EFNEP Assistant
Fleming County Cooperative Extension Service

Barbara Campbell
SNAP-Ed Program Assistant
FlemingCounty Cooperative extension Service

The Cooperative Extension Service conducts an after school program called the Healthy Divas to help adolescent females improve their self-esteem and health behaviors. Students are selected based on greatest need by their teachers. Criteria include students that do not regularly participate in after school activities due to lack of resources.

These students are often described as “at risk” due to this lack of activity or interests outside a limited scope. These students meet weekly with an average participation of 15 at each school. Weekly sessions include a health component, exercise component and nutrition component. Guest speakers present on various topics as well as the extension service staff. Topics include female issues, the importance of the HPV vaccine, substance abuse and smoking, plus skin and hair care, and body image. Students also participate in service learning projects to promote healthy behaviors during the school semester.

Students are given a questionnaire at the beginning of the sessions concerning their beliefs, attitudes and current actions at that time about issues related to the upcoming topics. At the conclusion of the program, a follow up questionnaire was administered to the students. This questionnaire was developed by UK Specialists. Questionnaires are tabulated to see if any knowledge and skills had been gained such as an increase in physical activity, better nutritional choices and attitudes toward smoking and substance abuse. The questionnaire attempts to measure changes in self-esteem and ability to resist at-risk behavior.
The success of this program is due to the involvement of agents, Extension Program Assistants, Extension Specialists and the County School System.

This program is funded through the Extension Service budget. The Board of Education provided the space and additional support through the guidance counselors’ offices and the Family Resource Centers.

Other counties in the state have replicated this program with success.

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Time 8:45am9:45am EST

Date Thu 12th April 2012

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