By Cao Ngô Lạc
Vietnamese Cultural and Scientific Associaton will hold a Vietnamese Youth Tobacco and Obesity Prevention Summit on June 27, 2009, reaching out to well over 250 Asian youths (age range 7 – 16) and 100 adults in the Houston community. The summit will be held from 9:00AM to 5:00PM at Stafford Primary School (1625 Staffordshire Road – Stafford, TX 77477). Participants will be actively involved in a friendly, interactive environment fulfilled with exciting, fun workshops and educational activities. said coordinator Hoa Nguyen.
Participants will also have the opportunity to engage and participate in various tobacco and obesity-awareness topics. Youth will gain knowledge of the bad health effects of using tobacco, good effects of choosing right nutrition and fitness activities, develop a strong resistance to the usage of drugs and unhealthy eating habits and thus, will have motivation and apply what they learn to pursue a positive outlook in life, a healthy lifestyle. We will provide free lunch for participants.
We also provide free t-shirt for the first 200 youths registered. In order to register, participants have to be in the age from 7 to 16, in good health condition, and has a waiver form signed by their parents.
Nguyen and the staff look forward each year to helping to make a difference in the community.
“This is the fifth year VCSA has sponsored a free tobacco prevention summit targeted to keep Vietnamese American youth away from smoking and chewing tobacco. This year we’ve added the packet healthy eating and exercise. We know obesity in teens is becoming epidemic across all America and with Vietnamese American teens we are particularly concerned about encouraging a healthy diet and exercise because Vietnamese American teens are becoming victims of American high fat eating and sedentary lifestyle as are all Americans today,” said coordinator Hoa.
Nguyen is a UT Austin microbiology and pre-pharmacy student and a graduate of Houston’s Lamar High School excited to be helping to put together the all day event because he has learned in his classes that tobacco and obesity impact every cell of the human body and then have impact on the overall human condition that hurt not only individuals but families and society as a whole.
“Our expectation is an action packed event where programs are packaged appropriate for those that are pre-teens, teens and adults from 9-5 with fun filled exciting workshops and educational activities. Free t-shirts are provided for the first 200 children and lunch provided by Kim Son will be available all the children involved. Parents may participate but must bring lunch. This is real exciting for us. We know the message is one that must get out,” he said.
Bao Tran, Nguyen’s co-coordinator, said she knows the summit serves an important mission.
“In Vietnamese culture our parents originated tobacco use was a tolerated and almost expected. Also when Vietnamese come to America and begin eating American foods its tempting to choose foods that are not the best choices for healthy living. I look forward to Saturday and making a difference in children’s readiness to resist,“ Tran said.
“Our youth have learned to study well in school. I want the students that are graduating after me to learn to do more than earn good grades but to resist tobacco, alcohol and other drugs and choosing the wrong foods and sedentary lifestyles,“ she said.
Registration form is available at the website www.vcsa.org (click 2009 Youth Tobacco Prevention Summit on the right hand side corner). You can also drop by Thien Nga Bookstore or VCSA center to get one.
If parents would like to join, please make sure to write down a notice on the waiver form and bring your own lunch.
VCSA greatly thanks the following sponsors who support this Tobacco & Obesity Prevention Summit: Bank of America, Kim Son Restaurant, Little Saigon Radio, Saigon Houston Radio 900AM, Saigon Tex News and Ngay Nay Newspaper.
Please call (281) 933-8118 or email vcsa @ vcsa.org for more info.
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