TEAM MCKEESPORT YMCA—From left: Nizhae Adams, 14; Ladasha Brownfield, 14; Aimani Jones, 12; Zevian Andrews, 11; Jhayla Bray, 11; and Edward McKissick, 12, as they competed in the Health Game. (Photos by J.L. Martello)
In the first UnitedHealthcare Health Bee held in Pennsylvania, middle school students from eight YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh branches competed against one another in a Jeopardy-style competition focused on nutrition, fitness, health and science.
UnitedHealthcare awarded the winning team $3,000, the second place team $2,000 and the third place team $1,000 for programs at their Y branch that support the fight against childhood obesity. Curtis Aiken, University of Pittsburgh basketball sports broadcaster and former all-star Pitt basketball player, was supposed to attend but did not make it to this event. People who did attend were E.J. Heckert, vice president, UnitedHealthcare, Western Pennsylvania; Carolyn Grady, senior vice president of development, YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh; Gretchen North, associate vice president of healthy living, YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh; and Debbie Pricener, associate vice president of youth development, YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh. Others in attendance were middle school students from eight YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh branches and their families, Y leaders, and friends at the Thelma Lovette YMCA in the Hill District.
The purpose was because as children become teens, they become responsible for making an increasing number of their own choices, including what to eat, how much to exercise, and how they view their bodies. The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh and UnitedHealthcare teamed up for the Health Bee to encourage kids at this critical point in their development to form healthy habits that will last them into adulthood.