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Baldwin student initiates wellness challenge

Marcia Noel, a senior at Baldwin High School,

Marcia Noel, a senior at Baldwin High School, recently initiated a 30-day wellness challenge at her school. Credit: Prestige Portraits

A Baldwin High School student recently spearheaded an initiative to help peers lead healthier lives.

Marcia Noel, a senior and Girl Scout, launched a 30-day wellness challenge at her school this fall in which she encouraged classmates to complete one healthy task each day — such as not drinking soda or meditating for five minutes. The effort was part of the community service component of her Gold Award, which is the highest honor available within the Girl Scouts of the USA.

She was inspired to create the challenge after participating in the "21 Days to be Kind" Challenge through Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation. That campaign called on participants to practice a daily act of kindness over a 21-day span in September.

"I hope that my challenge can inspire healthier lifestyles among my friends and classmates," Noel, 17, said.

To promote her challenge, Noel said announcements were made over the school's loudspeaker and word was spread in monthly emails to staff by Principal Neil Testa. She also succeeded in getting administrators to add healthier drink options, such as bottled water and Gatorade, to the school's vending machines.

Noel is vice president of her school's choir, plays cello in the orchestra, and performs in an a capella group called Octapella. She is also on the soccer and badminton teams and in the National Honor Society.

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