CAST Med High School Students, Recognized Statewide for Diabetes Prevention, Present to City Council
SAN ANTONIO (May 18, 2023) – A group of students from CAST Med High School received 1st place honors and the award for Excellence in Primary Research in the 2023 Speak Up Speak Out Statewide competition for their work creating DEPOT, which stands for Diabetes Education and Prevention Organized Team. DEPOT was created to educate low-income youth and their families about diabetes, how to prevent it, and to provide nutrition information.
After extensive research and study about the prevalence of diabetes in Bexar County, the DEPOT determined that the primary causes were discrepancies between access to proper and quality healthcare, treatments that are extremely expensive, a lack of inexpensive nutritious food in low-income communities, lack of health and fitness literacy, and a history of discrimination against minority communities in San Antonio.
DEPOT Member Katherine Navarro said, “We found that many people have relatives with diabetes and other related problems such as hypertension, and these problems typically tend to run in families. I have a personal experience with this because my own grandma has diabetes. This of course led me to want to take care of my health because, as teens, junk food is always at the tips of our fingers and we never really think about making the healthier choice. Many people in San Antonio are not being educated about problems that may run in their own family.”
Their solution is a six-step process:
Create the DEPOT Club at CAST Med High School
Host a cooking and nutrition class with CHEF at the Girls Inc. Science Fair
Conduct healthy eating, cooking, and nutrition workshops with various partners including Girls Inc., CHEF (Culinary Health Education for Families), and the SAVE Clinic
Partner with UT Health’s medical students to collect more information about diabetes risk factors
Partner with surrounding schools to bring diabetes education workshops, use fun activities to help them learn
Bring in more community partners
The San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council provided seed funding for supplies to use at nutrition fairs and workshops into 2024, with an option to apply again in the future. Students will receive funding from the University of Texas at Austin Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life to implement their project solutions at the local level. The students also plan to launch a website and social media channels this year to increase their reach across San Antonio and to provide centralized access to upcoming student-run events and other health resources. CAST Med is the only medically-focused, dual-language high school in south San Antonio created in partnership between San Antonio ISD and CAST Schools.
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ABOUT THE CAST Schools Network
The Centers for Applied Science & Technology (CAST) is a San Antonio-based network of tuition-free, public schools with a mission to reinvent schooling in order to maximize options for students while preparing them for college, career, and life. Open to all Bexar County students, the network includes high schools CAST Tech, CAST Teach, CAST STEM, CAST Med, CAST Lead and the Advanced Learning Academy. Schools are co-created with industry, and partner with area public school districts, including Northside, San Antonio, Southwest, and East Central ISDs. For more information, visit castschools.com. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.