Juniors to promote healthy lifestyle as part of CAS project


Juniors Abigail Palacios and Nardos Assefa have decided to start a friendly and social running club for their IB CAS Personal Project. The group will hold an interest meeting on March 14 in T-17.

Sports, gyms, salads, protein shakes and toned athletes are some of the things we usually associate with the word “healthy.” Achieving the ultimate nirvana of looking and feeling healthy may seem out of reach, but juniors Abigail Palacios and Nardos Assefa want to make getting fit easier with a friendly and social running club for their IB CAS (Creativity, Action and Service) Personal Project.

The CAS requirement of the IB Diploma is meant to teach students the importance of life outside of an academic environment. In addition to cataloguing their own activities, students must complete a personal project with a specified goal, personal fitness being the focus of the running club.

“It basically promotes a healthy lifestyle,” Palacios said. “It’s intended for people who don’t have time for a sport but want to stay fit.”

The pair has put up fliers around the school to promote their March 14 interest meeting in T-17. The fliers advertise sharing healthy recipes and exercising.

Their sponsor, English teacher Stefanie Guffey, is a good example of a healthy individual. She has run a half marathon in both Denver and the Army Ten-Miler, and believes in what the CAS project is trying to accomplish.

“I would love to see more people in the school get active,” Guffey said.

Though the project has noble intentions, gaining awareness is a bit of an issue. Despite the fliers and word of mouth, the cause needs to gain a greater amount of awareness.

“It’ll take a lot of effort to get people involved in this project. But the two of them can be successful,” Guffey said.

Palacios and Assefa have reached out to their base support of friends and classmates as potential members.

“A lot of my friends and Abby’s friends are [participating],” Assefa said. “We haven’t reached out to a lot of different groups, but I hope they see our fliers.”

They have also tried to make the group as friendly as possible to all people by appealing to the universal goal of becoming healthy.

“If we solely intended it for one group, it would not be for everyone,” Palacios said.

The organization will pursue running to keep active, and other activities will be determined at the interest meeting. Palacios and Assefa stress that while the project is designated to keep healthy, it is also a fun way to socialize.

“It’s guys and girls getting together to run,” Palacios said.

Though it is a requirement for the pair, they are genuinely interested in promoting healthy living.

“I want everyone to know that it’s not only a CAS project,” Assefa said. “It’s something that we’re really passionate about.”