Asian Media Access

Spring Wellness Week at Hmong College Prep Academy

This April, Asian Media Access (AMA), Asian American Business Resilience Network (AABRN), Encouraging Leaders, Know the Truth Prevention Program, and Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling hosted a wellness week at the Hmong College Prep Academy for 9th grade students. The week includes different topics and presenters each day, one presentation from each of the hosts:

  • AMA – Bicultural Healthy Living
    AABRN – Mental Wellness
  • Encouraging leaders – Violence Prevention
  • Know the Truth Prevention Program – Prevention and cessation
  • Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling – Gambling prevention

The wellness week topics empower students with knowledge and resources to support positive and healthy decisions. The goal is to reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors that work to build safer and stronger communities. Throughout the years, we have found that presentations must be interactive to engage students in the best way. Students have shared that presenters who share facts alone have difficulty staying fully engaged. For instance, instead of a presentation that just talks through slides, Know the Truth also introduces brainstorming sessions that allow students to think about prompts, share responses, and open discussions. One slide asks, “What are the facts that you think you know about…” Know The Truth uses the known facts to build a foundation and further expands that knowledge. This also makes it feel like the presentation is catered to the audience specifically. Presentations have also introduced real personal stories that resonate with students and make them feel they can relate to the presenters even more. 

Prevention topics are essential to share with youth who are easily pressured and influenced by peers, media, and mainstream culture. In the Mental Wellness presentation, John talks about the excessive use of social media leading to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Youth can feel the pressure to compare their own life to highlight reels on social media, causing a higher sense of unhappiness and stress. In addition, negative interactions or cyberbullying on social media can significantly impact mental health. Being that May is Mental Health Awareness month, and freshmen learning to navigate mental health appropriately in the beginning stages of high school is incredibly important. Students experience pressures from academics, social dynamics, and more. The hosts dedicate their time to raising awareness with healthy coping strategies that help them focus on improving their well-being and resilience. The wellness week promotes educating and empowering youth to proactively make positive and healthy long-life choices for themselves and their communities. 

At the end of the wellness week, a Kahoot game is played with each class period to recap the main messages. Kahoot is an engaging and competitive spirit quiz game that can help show how quickly and accurately the students can recognize key takeaways from the presentations. Students show clearly the questions that link back to which topic. The quiz helps the student retain and reflect on the presentation while also helping them improve their understanding. 

The Kahoot statistics show that students could answer most questions correctly, with multiple students receiving 100% scores.

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