Carla Ibarra (2016)

Tijuana en Acción

Tijuana, border-city with San Diego, has the highest incidence of child obesity in Mexico; 1 out of every 3 adolescents are obese. Carla’s project, Tijuana en Acción, aims to tackle the alarming incidence of obesity within the adolescent population in Tijuana by implementing a wellness program in public middle schools.  

Tijuana en Acción consists of 3 steps -

1: Free workout sessions will be provided to all students on school campus, each targeting different body parts and muscle groups, providing healthy post-workout snacks in order to produce awareness to what are healthy, affordable food choices.

Goal : Instill the habit of exercise in youth to construct a healthy habit for adulthood.

2: In order to participate in the workout sessions, students will answer a life-habits survey that will provide knowledge about the community’s eating and exercise habits, which will be used to produce a Nutritional Monthly Newsletter.

Goal : Implement a community engaged program by working from the wants and needs of the community.

3: A Nutritional Monthly Newsletter will be distributed to students to take home and share with friends and family. It will include healthy food alternatives, affordable and accessible shopping lists, inexpensive healthy recipes, exercise guides appropriate for adolescents, and 4-week meal plans. Tijuana en Acción will work in unison with a local nutritionist to provide quality nutritional resources to families in Tijuana.

Goal : Improve the lives of more people in Tijuana by expanding the impact potential to friends and families of students.

Tijuana en Acción will offer adolescents the opportunity to experience the benefits of exercise. It will inculcate social consciousness on eating habits and introduce Tijuana’s community to accessible and affordable healthy foods. Tijuana en Acción seeks to help reduce the obesity index by making an impact in Tijuana’s youth. The goal of Tijuana en Acción is to create a ripple effect that will improve the habits of Tijuana’s younger generation, which will be become the future generation of parents.

Biography

“Torn by a border, raised on both Mexican and American soil, my heart grew larger, was pulled wider, surpassing a man-made division.” Through life opportunities, Carla has acquired the Mexican warm-hearted culture and the United States’ endless desire to keep improving.  She seeks to become a unique agent for change. A McNair scholar, graduate from UC Berkeley with an Honors degree in Sociology and a minor in Education, Carla is a woman conscious of the deep social inequalities that impact people’s dreams and hopes. Convinced that good health is the starting point to a quality life of opportunities, Carla is passionate to reduce health disparities in Mexico. In her free time, Carla is a research assistant for the Center for Latin American Studies at UC Berkeley where she has acquired valuable skills and life-long friendships.