Houston, TX, December 22, 2014 – In the spirit of giving back to the community, Bee Busy Learning Academy, Inc. (Bee Busy) kicked off the winter break for area high school students with the annual Health Extravaganza for Youth (HEY), an educational event held this year at Dave and Buster’s Grand Marquee. Bee Busy provided prizes, goodie bags, continental breakfast, lunch and a full day of play for over 200 students. The event also presented a slate of speakers that focused on some of the prevalent concerns negatively impacting youth: teen violence, abuse, low self-esteem, suicide, teen pregnancy and personal responsibility.
“Our goal for this event was to educate and inform high school students to make better choices in life” Bee Busy Executive Director Darcy Padgett said. “It is so important to reach these kids at a time when they are facing extreme peer pressure. By combining a day of fun and games with hard-hitting messages we hope to leave a lasting impression on them.”
HEY exposed the audience to a diverse and dynamic array of personalities including Hydeia Broadbent, award-winning humanitarian and national HIV/AIDS activist; Wanda Adams, former city council member and current HISD Board member; Carlton Harris, minister and reformed drug dealer; and several representatives of law enforcement from both the city and county levels. Each presentation challenged youth to take responsibility for their life, sought to increase positive self-awareness, and improve healthy habits and attitudes.
The youth also welcomed local community activist Quanell X, making a rare speaking appearance to share his personal struggles and successes. In a surprise turn of events, Quanell reached out to students in the audience who were growing up in a household without their mother or father, just as he had done in his youth. In recognition of the unique challenges these students face, the activist personally gifted these seven young people with a financial contribution totaling $1,200.
“Ultimately, we want to increase healthy outcomes and decrease risky behaviors in communities of color that are disproportionately affected by poverty, disease and incarceration,” Norman Mitchell, Bee Busy CEO said. “Bee Busy realizes how much of a profound effect reaching the youth can have on the future, so we look forward to next year’s HEY event as well as a summer teen summit for middle school students.”
Students attended from The Fountain of Praise Worship Center, HISD high schools Worthing and Westbury, as well as Katy ISD high school Mayde Creek.