For Robert E. Bryan Social Innovation Fellow Camille McGirt ’13, engaging young girls in a healthy lifestyle is second nature. So it is no surprise that her Healthy Girls Save the World (HGSW) program aims to impact young girls to incorporate wholesome habits into their lives. Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, McGirt created HGSW to address childhood obesity. HGSW provides the tools and knowledge for young girls to create and sustain a healthy and well-rounded lifestyle by collaborating with several partners, including Girls on the Run and UNC’s women’s field hockey, basketball and soccer teams.
Together, HGSW and these organizations work with girls ages 8 to 15 in communities throughout Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham to offer them free events that focus on the importance of healthy eating habits, regular exercise and chronic obesityrelated illness prevention.
“Many of our girls have never set foot on a college campus and at an age of 8 or 15 years old, we’re allowing girls to actualize going to college, exposing them to athletes and speakers that will help them learn about sports, nutrition and even build self-confidence. We are making a lasting impact in this community and we are trying to help solve a national obesity problem that is affecting our healthcare system and economy. If we can inspire these girls to play sports, do well in school, create noble relationships and eat right, then we’re successful.” ~ Camille McGirt, Bryan fellow