- Childhood obesity rates have tripled in the last three decades. Minority and low-income children are disproportionately affected. Read more.
- About 60-65% of obese Hoosier children will grow up to become obese adults. Read more.
- Medicaid data shows that annual health care costs for an obese child average nearly three times the average cost for all children. Read more.
- Indiana spends $1.6 billion per year in overall obesity-related medical costs — and the figure is rising. Read more.
- People in families who regularly eat together during mealtimes are healthier and less likely to become overweight. Read more.
- Adolescents who frequently ate with their family during mealtimes were also less likely to experience depression symptoms. Read more.
View MCCOY’s “Our Kids, Our Families, Our Communities” television show about healthy choice here.
View MCCOY’s “Our Kids, Our Families, Our Communities” television show about substance abuse here.
Youth Champion: Deborah Asante, Founder/Artistic Director of Asante Children’s Theatre
- Why did you want to go into this line of work?
I evolved into this work. I was always an artist however working with youth was not on my radar. I first saw it as an opportunity to supplement my income. I knew I would enjoy working with young people yet I didn’t see it as the life changing work it is until I became a parent. It was then I realized what was at stake and what a difference connecting young people to art could make.
- What was your first day on the job like?
I was a California Artist in Resident at KPOO radio in San Francisco, directing the San Francisco Children’s Radio Theatre Workshop. My first thought when I saw the children I had to work with was “How am I gonna pull this off?” That, in fact was my first lesson. It is amazing what children can accomplish when they believe. It is still my best skill, helping them to believe in themselves and believe what we are working toward is within our reach.
- What is most rewarding about your job?
The young artists. Seeing them grow and knowing what a difference that confidence and understanding will make in their lives. Knowing that their empowerment will positively impact the communities they live in.
- What is the most challenging part of your job?
Knowing that we could do a better job, reach more young artists if we had more man/woman power and funding.
- How has MCCOY helped your organization succeeded or grow?
MCCOY is certainly a resource for our organization. We are appreciative of the work MCCOY does on the front lines to advocate for youth and youth organizations. Your work helps to raise our community’s awareness and consciousness. Also the training opportunities offered by MCCOY have strengthened our delivery of services to the youth we serve. It is apparent that you work hard to encourage and support the efforts of the youth workers of Marion County. Thank you!
- Where do you see yourself and your organization in five years?
Of course I see us being bigger and better than ever before. In five years we will celebrate our 30th anniversary season. Asante Children’s Theatre having demonstrated its longevity and consistently strong track record will have found funding and support at much higher levels, making it possible to employ more teaching artists to work with us, helping to reach more young artists. We also want to utilize more technology to insure that our artists know how to make their art accessible. The ultimate goal is to enlarge the impact of the young artist’s creative work in the community.
For more information about the Asante Children’s Theatre check out their website: www.asantechildrenstheatre.org. Photo taken by Paul D. Best.