Darlington School: Private Boarding School in Georgia Senior Ventures Spotlight: Heidi Botwinik
Darlington School: Private Boarding School in Rome, GA
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Senior Ventures Spotlight: Heidi Botwinik

Heidi Botwinik | November 3, 2022 | 275 views

My Senior Ventures project, EveryBody Eats, focuses on educating sstudent-athletes and others in our community about how to care and fuel their bodies.

Recently, I provided a "Fit Kids" program for 12 students in grades 3-5 at Darlington. We met twice a week after school and began our time together with a warm-up then a workout or game led by Mr. Al Shorey, chairman of the math department. Click here to read the "Fit Kids" curriculum. Then, I provided a nutritional lesson and a delicious and nutritious snack. See a photo gallery here.

My year-long project involves many goals as well. I am planning to work with a regular dietitian who would be my community mentor. Inside the bubble of athletes, I would like to break down ways to properly fuel our bodies for performance and recovery. Also under sport-specific weight cutting, I would love to bring in a specialist who can help guide student-athletes in the safest way possible to prepare for their events.

I would like to aim for a healthier way to look at food as fuel. Even if you are not an athlete, you still need key nutrients from food. I would like to target areas that a body is better with food versus without. Starving is not the answer. Your body runs better and metabolizes faster with food versus without. Another area I would like to explore is educating faculty, with the help of medical professionals, so that they can help assist struggling students. I would do this by creating protocols alongside the counseling department to give struggling students within the Darlington Community a plan for getting the support they need. I also plan to create a group therapy program under the supervision of school counselor to bring students, faculty, and staff struggling with a healthy relationship with food together.

As a member of one of the CrossFit gyms in Rome, I would also like to start a teens CrossFit class at my gym to focus on bridging the gap to a healthier relationship with exercise. This summer during CrossFit kids camp, I taught some lessons on nutrition and held nutritional breaks for the kids. It went really well and I got great feedback. This feedback will give me insight on what younger kids are interested in learning about and will be useful in my lesson planning for younger kids in the future.

The last part of my project focuses on developing a healthy relationship with food. A relationship with food is similar to a relationship with humans; it needs to be cared for and nurtured in a healthy way with balance. I plan to educate the Darlington Community on how to build a healthy relationship with food through assembly talks, advisory curriculum, blogs and podcasts. I feel very fortunate that some of the challenges that I have gone through in life have led me here. Having the ability and opportunity to give and share the lessons I have learned with others and help them in a positive way.

Senior Ventures is a year-long academic program built on a framework of leadership, innovation and community engagement. Through a proven self-guided exploratory process, seniors whose proposals are selected for this program work independently to develop a project that’s interdisciplinary in scope and is connective, performance-based, investigative, or entrepreneurial. Click here to learn more.