Club has its head in the game

by Lilly Glenister, Senior Staff Writer

For a student organization that is a hybrid between community involvement and a place to meet new people while learning to be healthy, look no further than San Diego State’s HeadSTRONG.

HeadSTRONG was established in 2008 at California State University, Long Beach. In August 2010, the organization made its way to SDSU and has since been providing students with resources on physical and mental health.

Club president and nutrition senior Lance Brooks said the club started as a positive outlook type of organization.

“It has more of a physical activity aspect (now),” Brooks said. “We do a lot of hikes and outdoor activities in San Diego. We also like to stay positive while also giving back to the community.”

Its mission emphasizes positive self-esteem and confidence by raising awareness and providing student programs about nutrition, physical and overall wellness. This has attracted a member base upward of 60 members.

SDSU HeadSTRONG has become a popular organization among nutrition majors and kinesiology majors looking for outlets that relate to their interest of study, but it welcomes all students interested in health and wellness.

“We don’t generalize and say that you have to be apart of a certain major,” Brooks said. “We’re free and anyone can join.”

SDSU HeadSTRONG provides its members with information on learning to live a healthier lifestyle during meetings every other week on Wednesdays in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. The meetings periodically feature speakers that provide alternative outlooks on the health industry, including experts on holistic healing, dieticians, and yoga instructors.

“The professionals that come in are all leaders or on their way to being leaders in the health profession,” Brooks said. “Most notably, (last year) we had an Olympic decathlete that came to speak to us about his experiences.”

Along with learning about health and wellness through different speakers and outdoor activities, SDSU HeadSTRONG is committed to volunteering in the San Diego community. The organization is active with San Diego’s “Embrace the Streets” program in which college students help the less fortunate by distributing food and other necessities.

SDSU HeadSTRONG is also putting on a toy drive in mid-November at the student union, an event Brooks expects to be successful, similar to the way it has been in past years. The toy drive will involve SDSU students and community members alike donating toys for children at the County of San Diego’s Polinsky Childrens Center.

Combining volunteer work with resources for nutrition and health, SDSU HeadSTRONG creates a unique environment for the self-motivated and concerned student. Vice President Rachel Kuhn said she sees her club membership as a benefit to her time at SDSU.

“By being part of HeadSTRONG, I have gained many friends who have similar interests to me, the confidence to achieve whatever comes my way throughout college, and also an environment to de-stress and have fun in” she said.