PALM SPRINGS, Fla. — G-Star School of the Arts senior Alexis Bardy has a lot on her plate. She's president of the National Honor Society and student government, as well as a participant of the International Baccalaureate program.
She juggles it all in stride, but not without noticing that some of her peers aren't as lucky. It was the catalyst behind her creating the nonprofit Student Body Health, through Philanthropy Tank.
"Really building leaders for the future too, teaching the younger generation to give back to the community," Kristian Zambrana, Philanthropy Tank supporter and director of visitor services at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, told WPTV. "How do they become leaders? How do they create programs that don't exist? And really start to think outside of the box, and that's one of the best things that they do."
After becoming a Philanthropy Tank finalist, Student Body Health took off and everyone, including friends like G-Star senior Jaiden Haggiag, are taking notice.
"My favorite part is seeing the smile on other peoples faces," Haggiag said. "Kids, adults, everybody around, you can just see how they're all so calm and happy, and that's something that's honestly beautiful right now, considering everything that happened last year."
Through a combination of mentorship, engaging group activity and social media, Bardy is able to make a difference among her peers.
"Although our guidance counselors and our teachers and support members are here to help — they truly are — it's a new perspective," Bardy said.
For teens by teens, her message is one of empowerment.
Bardy emphasized "how important it is to get involved within your very own communities to help each other in a time of need, such as a pandemic or just academic pressures or community outreach."
It's a different take on meeting youth where they are in life.
“If they’re already scrolling though social media, I mean, why not give them a new healthy tip of how the benefits of walking outside and appreciating nature will overall help your mental health,” Bardy said.
A different take on keeping in touch with teens.