Touro students give Vallejo youth tips and moves to survive teen years

By Sarah Rohrs/Times-Herald staff writer/
Posted:   03/06/2013 03:28 AM PST

Armed with high energy music, baskets of fruits and vegetables and fliers by the dozens, Touro University students delivered a big message to dozens of high school students -- it's never too late to embrace a healthy lifestyle. 

The teen lifestyle can pose a host of problems before kids even reach adulthood, Touro officials said. Those include fatty foods, too little activity, diabetes, stress and teen pregnancy. 

At the core of the conference is the message that students should start out early

"We are looking for ways to get information to them about healthy lifestyles and also for ways to get them interested in careers related to health or education," Touro Director of Student Activities Irene Favreau said. 

"It's been blossoming over the years," Favreau said. 

Students from Mare Island Technology, Jesse Bethel, Vallejo High, Peoples St. Vincent-St. Patrick high schools, plus Pinole Valley and DeAnza high schools participated in the three-hour conference on Monday night. 

While many Touro teachers and other administrators were on hand, students did the bulk of the work planning and staging the conference. 

Extra treats included yoga and dance classes, and presentations on the dangers of drugs, sugars and sodas, sexually transmitted diseases and bullying. 

Touro students also carried a message about refraining from drugs, engaging in safe sex, drinking plenty of water and eating lots of fruit, and also getting out of abusive relationships. 

Student Todd Hayano manned a table loaded down with apples, bananas and oranges and a trivia game designed to help the teens guess what vitamins were inside different kinds of fruits and vegetables. 

"We're trying to promote healthy eating and balancing your diet," he said. 

As the conference geared up, loud and boisterous music came out of one corner as teens began moving around - waving their arms and stepping up and down to exercise moves led by Haley Rosehill. 

With teens laughing and clapping, Rosehill and a few other students from the Student Public Health Club led students through the exercise moves, a graphic reminder about the need to exercise for fun and health. 

"We're trying to get theme to incorporate motion and exercise into their life styles," said student Mey Saephan. 

Favreau boiled it down to one key point of the conference -- to help the youth survive their teen-age years well on their way to being healthy adults. 

Contact staff writer Sarah Rohrs at or (707) 553-6832. Follow her on Twitter @SarahVTH.