Board will focus on informing strategies and programming to champion healthy habits of youth statewide.
(NORCROSS, GA)— HealthMPowers, a nonprofit organization committed to championing healthy habits where children live, learn, and play, today announced the appointment of three new members to its Youth Advisory Board (YAB): Camila Isaza (16) Álvaro Saldarriaga (16), and Marie Surprenant (17).
“I am excited to welcome the new members to the YAB,” said Jennifer L. Owens, President & CEO of HealthMPowers. “As an organization, we continue to demonstrate and build on our commitment to youth voice and leadership with our second year of a formal Youth Advisory Board. Our new members will be pivotal in helping us develop impactful programs to create lasting change.”
As part of the HealthMPowers team, the Youth Advisory Board members will actively participate in shaping health programs, advocating for health education in schools and communities, and engaging in outreach activities to promote healthy habits.
“Through my work with the Youth Advisory Board, it is truly inspiring to witness how our young team informs and influences HealthMPowers’ for a brighter future,” said Rohan Rajpurohit, YAB chair and HealthMPowers board member. “In the past year, our dedication has transformed the team of youth into a dynamic force, introducing new ideas and energy in support of HealthMPowers’ mission. Together, as we begin our second year, we hope to model how youth voice can shape and influence an inclusive future where healthy habits and options are a way of life for young people.”
During the 2022-23 inaugural year, the YAB achieved the following milestones:
- Facilitated a dream session, significantly influencing the organization’s key strategies, including incorporating the link between physical health and mental wellness for children and youth.
- Received trainings in evaluation, to equip them with the skills needed to offer valuable feedback which directly influenced enhancements to how HealthMPowers collects data from children and youth.
- Collaborated with HealthMPowers’ marketing department to make programming and initiatives appeal to a younger audience.
The Youth Advisory Board was established as a result of feedback from youth during the creation of the 2022-2025 HealthMPowers Strategic Plan. The YAB is aligned with the organization’s strategy to deliver high-impact learning experiences that foster healthy habits— with a unique focus on youth voice. Board members will meet virtually once a month and serve for a minimum of one academic year. The YAB provides an opportunity for members to explore interests in health and well-being, develop leadership skills, gain networking opportunities, and earn community service hours.
The HealthMPowers Youth Advisory Board Welcomes the following Outstanding Individuals:
“Being chosen to be a part of the Youth Advisory Board, is an honor. To be chosen opens a pool of opportunities for personal and growth within my community. Being part of the advisory board means having a voice in working towards creating opportunities to improve the health of our communities.” – Camila Isaza
Camila Isaza, 16
McClure Health Science High School
Camila Isaza is a junior at McClure Health Science High School. She is a member of the Advanced Orchestra, Student Council, Junior Representative of National Honors Society, Chief Editor of the Yearbook, Debate Club Coordinator, an Executive member of Spanish Honors Society, HOSA member, and an AP Scholar. She is a Themed High Schools GHSA Athletic participant in Swim and Dive. Camila would like to thank her parents and older sister for always supporting her and emphasizing the importance of her future. She would like them to know that each of her accomplishments are theirs as well. Camila plans to major in Healthcare Management and Policy, and earn a graduate degree to become a Physician’s Assistant. Her ultimate goal is to one day work for the World Health Organization. Her hobbies include baking, jewelry making, and reading.
“Being chosen to be a part of the HealthMpowers’ Youth Advisory Board makes me feel immensely grateful. I am excited for the opportunity to create change in people’s lives. This opportunity is also intertwined with my passion for assisting others, and I am pleased to be able to contribute and learn from two fields I am passionate about: fitness and health.” – Álvaro Saldarriaga
Álvaro Saldarriaga, 16
McClure Health Science High School
Álvaro Saldarriaga is a junior at McClure Health Science High School. He was born in Colombia and is a dedicated student, always striving to achieve health and academic goals. Álvaro is passionate in everything he does and is committed to embracing his love for soccer and sports. He is an active player in the GSA academy and has a goal to play in his high schools soccer team. Currently, Álvaro is on a journey of exploration, seeking to discover which aspect of health resonates with him the most. Alongside his academic pursuits and sports activities, he is enthusiastic about fitness and can often be found at the gym, working out to build muscle and improve his cardio fitness. His hobbies include spending time with friends and swimming.
“I feel empowered to be able to help create access to physical activity and nutrition for youth.” -Marie Suprenant
Marie Suprenant, 17
North Eastern Preparatory Academy
Marie is a determined, funny 17-year-old girl with a spinal cord injury. This self-proclaimed night owl loves to dance, cuddle with her orange eyed cat and plays on many wheelchair sports teams. Marie has been active in the Atlanta disability community since the young age of two. She has served as a mentor to other disabled children at Georgia disability camps, volunteers at the local children’s hospital, and works in a pediatrician’s office part-time. This rising high school senior excels in math, language arts, and science. Her future includes getting a service dog in 2024 and continuing her education.
Returning Youth Advisory Board Members:
Rohan Rajpurohit, 18
Youth Advisory Board Chair
Rohan Rajpurohit is the president and chair of HealthMPowers’ Youth Advisory Board (YAB) and the first youth member of the HMP Board of Directors. Rohan is a freshman at Emory University, and his interest includes the intersection of health research, business, and technology. He brings an enthusiasm for elevating and integrating youth voice into community outreach programs that promote health access, advocacy, and well-being. In addition to HealthMPowers, Rohan is engaged with the Emory Urban Health Initiative (UHI) and supports community health programs like Walk with a Doc, for which he serves as the outreach and communications coordinator.
Ayshiah Frazier, 16
Haralson County High School
Ayshiah is funny and full of life. Her determination to help better those around her makes her a stronger person. Currently, Ayshiah is on the Raiders team at Haralson County High School, volunteers with 4-H, and is the Staff Sergeant of her company in JROTC. In her downtown, Ayshiah loves sharing her contagious personality, singing, and writing. She also enjoys reading and taking walks to relax when stress becomes too much.
Chace Cleveland, 19
Chace Cleveland is a community-minded scholar with strong family ties. Some of his community contributions include founding the creation of his middle school’s outdoor study and paint patio, founding his high school’s first and second annual can food drive to feed the Conyers community, and founding his high school’s first student-led newsletter – The Nutty Patriot. A self-proclaimed sociable loner, some of his interests include blackwork tattoos (though he’s not likely to get one), exploring different culinary cuisines, and spending time with family. In the future, Chace aspires to help people gain a deeper understanding of financial literacy with a focus on helping minority communities live a better life.
Mary Rozier, 18
Eagles Landing High School
My name is Mary L. Rozier and I am a Senior and student-athlete at Eagles Landing High School. I am a 4.0 honors student who has been selected for the prestigious Governors Honors Program in the area of mechanical engineering. I also am a county swim champion in a three time All-American in track and field. Moreover, I aspire to become a biomedical engineer and positively impact the health and well-being of others.
Paige Parkerson, 16
Thomas Country Central High School
Paige Parkerson, is a sophomore at Thomas County Central High School. She has been a member of the varsity soccer team for two years and has been a part of the soccer program at her school since she was in sixth grade. As a freshman, Paige played volleyball and ran cross country. Paige is a member of the Key Club, Future Business Leaders of America, and serves as the vice president of the sophomore class. Paige enjoys volunteering at Shop with a Yellow Jacket, Sweet Grass Dairy Farm Camp, and Vacation Bible School. She is a member of Thomasville First United Methodist church. Paige plans to attend college after graduation.
Pratima Yellayi, 16
South Forsyth High School
Pratima Yellayi is a member of the varsity cross country team, track team, and a senior dancer. She is a part of the Girls Empowering Movement, otherwise known as GEM, as well as the Pebble Tossers Teen Leadership program. She takes pride in her ability to accomplish anything she puts her mind to. Her hobbies include painting, gym, and listening to music. Music is a very big part of her life.
HealthMPowers promotes healthy habits to build a better future for children. By integrating nutrition education and physical activity into schools, early care centers, and out of school time sites, the settings where children spend their time, we create a culture that supports lifelong healthy lifestyle choices for children, families, and communities. To learn more about how you can build a healthier future for children, visit HealthMPowers.org.