Project TARO hosts GHC’s first student-run health fair

By Lily Angel

On Tuesday, March 7, Project TARO hosted the school’s first student-run health fair. The event aimed to spread information about mental, physical, and emotional well-being in a fun and engaging manner.

Project TARO is an International Baccalaureate Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) project organized by seniors Rishabh Kotturgowdra, Vanessa Miller, and Arman Setaghaian. They worked tirelessly to organize the student fair, collaborating with various clubs and organizations to ensure that everything ran smoothly. 

Project TARO stands for Taking Action to Reduce Overdoses. The club’s main aim is to reduce overdoses and substance abuse in the local community by tackling mental health problems, stress, and the lack of education surrounding dangerous substance use.

“We were inspired to do the health fair after seeing the health-related clubs on the club directory but not knowing what they did exactly. Also, we saw that a lot of our friends had misconceptions about their own health. We wanted to host this health fair so we could spread more information about mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing in a fun and engaging manner,” Kotturgowdra said.

The health fair included a range of booths from various health and wellness clubs on campus. The clubs included Sunscreen Everyday, Fighting the Good Fight, Bring Change to Mind, Yes Means Yes, It All Starts in the Classroom, Green Intivative, Seeds for the Future, STEM A Blossom, Stand Up San Fernando, Canvas Communities, Music Minds LA, Bella, and TARO.

“Our goal for the health fair was to have more people interested in learning about health and wellness. We also had the goal of allowing these clubs a bigger platform to share their cause and get more people to be part of their club,” Kotturgowdra said.

Attendees participated in activities such as face-painting with colored sunscreen, a trivia game, guided meditation and chair yoga, sticker decorating for opioid overdose prevention, and a trash sorting game, among others.

Each club had a unique activity or game that aimed to promote health and wellness. For instance, Bring Change to Mind demonstrated a meditation session. Yes Means Yes organized a jeopardy or charades game to help participants learn about sexual assault resources, Title XI, and healthy consent behaviors in teen relationships. Music Minds LA had a spin-the-wheel game with questions about the brain, while Bella gave a lesson on how to crochet as a mental health outlet.

“We had around 35 people who were part of the health and wellness fair. There were 23 people who had booths for their clubs and around 10-12 people from the Bee the Hope club and ASB who volunteered to help with the health fair as well,” Kotturgowdra said

To further incentivize student participation, the health fair also featured a giveaway at the end of the fair.

Though the fair was entirely student-run, the organizers also collaborated with the Wellness Center, which had a booth where they gave out friendship bracelets and pamphlets about mental health. 

Overall, the health fair provided students with an opportunity to learn about health and wellness in a fun and engaging way. It was a great initiative that promoted the importance of physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.