Sarah Lawson on the Healthy Living Expo

Southwest Youth Services (SYS) and the Native American Community Academy (NACA) hosted the 2012 Healthy Living Expo to celebrate service, health, and athletics on Martin Luther King Day.

Sarah Lawson, from Southwest  Youth Services gave NATIVE(X) an update on her MLK weekend activity, the Healthy Living Expo. The event, hosted by Southwest Youth Services and the Native American Community Academy (NACA) featured a Traditional Powwow, Basketball Tournament, Workshops on Jujitsu, Yoga, two Wellness Sessions (Native Use of Tobacco and Healthy Living in the New Year) and Traditional Cooking, as well as a Winter Jacket Drive, Clothing Bank Giveaway, and Health Fair. “Southwest Youth Services’ aim was to make healthy living fun and engage students, families, and the community in a tradition of service and learning.”

By the Numbers

  • 204 volunteers served 1,167.5 hours
  • 304 Healthy Living Expo event participants (including volunteers)
  • 21 AmeriCorps VISTA members volunteered


  • Food pantry and clothing bank re-stocked for 400 Native American Community Academy families
  • 23 low-income families served with 87 meals
  • 300 participants engaged in healthy living activities, such as jiujitu, yoga, traditional cooking, health sessions, powwow dancing, and community service
  • Provided 300 meals to service event participants
  • Building shelves for Food Pantry 40% complete
  • NACA Student Council raised money through healthy snack bar to support student-led initiatives

Powwow Drum Group Hawk Soldier

A big thank you from SYS and NACA goes out to event partners, AmeriCorps VISTA Program, First Nations Community Health Source, Johns Hopkins University, New Mexico Forum for Youth & Community, Whole Foods, the Pueblo of Acoma Senior Center, Pueblo of Jemez Department of Education, Pueblo of San Felipe Health & Wellness Department, Native Health Initiative, RCJ Machado  Jiu-Jitsu Association, Western Hardrock Watershed Team LA-SU Rogers Jiu-Jitsu, and the New Mexico Department of Health.

Look for more updates from Sarah in the future.


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