For her efforts, nod from first lady BY ENELLY BETANCOURT, Staff Writer
Sheena Simmons strongly believes in creating opportunities for young people so they can be involved in the community and enjoy healthy lifestyles.
For the past three years, Simmons has organized a program for local youth called Youth Week -- I Rock the Community, incorporating principles of first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative and entertainment.
"This is about building and empowering and developing future leaders," Simmons explained.
Her work hasn't gone unnoticed.
Simmons, an East Hempfield Township mother of three, attended a Let's Move Faith and Communities gathering earlier this month at the White House to honor the efforts of individuals and neighborhood organizations who are providing innovative programs and opportunities for families to make healthier choices; are encouraging increased activity; and are providing access to healthy and affordable food.
The first lady, Simmons said, delivered personal congratulations to her guests and spoke about the Let's Move initiative.
Michelle Obama encouraged them to continue to deliver the message of healthy lifestyles in a way that is relevant to people.
"She was pretty powerful and encouraging," Simmons said.
The half-day event was sponsored by the White House, the Centers for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Youth Week features free and discounted activities for youth, including athletic activities, tours and demonstrations, entertainment and prizes. Approximately 600 youth participate each year.
Youth Week events are held at various sites throughout Lancaster, including Laserdome, Rocky Springs Lanes and Castle Roller Skating.
The 2013 Youth Week will be held Aug. 5 to 10. Children and youth ages 8 through 17 are welcome to participate.
"Our event gets the whole family out of the house to enjoy and take part in activities that are free of charge, instead of sitting around the house," Simmons said.
For more information about Youth Week, call 615-4498.
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