Peers play a major role in shaping adolescents' decisions, and not just when it comes to buying sneakers. That influence extends to health-related habits, too. With that in mind, the Institute began partnering with Dr. Mehmet Oz’s national HealthCorps organization in 2011, to bring young health mentors and activists into several Baltimore City high schools.
Dedicated to a school full-time for two years, these recent college graduates—called HealthCorps Coordinators—deliver a creative curriculum on nutrition and cooking, physical activity, and mental resilience through classroom teaching and enrichment programs after school.
The Institute serves as an anchor and resource for coordinators in the Baltimore-Washington region, bringing them together for trainings in mind-body skills, meditation, and a wide range of topics in integrative health. Local coordinators have opportunities to participate in Institute programs and consult with our Scholars and staff on ways to enhance their impact with students.
A highlight of the partnership each spring is Teen Battle Chef, when cooking teams from mid-Atlantic HealthCorps schools converge on Baltimore to prepare and present their best recipes before an expert panel as well as family and friends.
VIDEO: Watch a student team from Baltimore Freedom Academy demonstrate its culinary talents in the 2012 Teen Battle Chef Showdown: