Campus & Community

PBSC students help promote healthy living at MLK celebration

PBSC students, Debra Weiss and more on stage at the MLK JR. Day celebration

Palm Beach State College students from the Student Empowerment in Action Club volunteered with the Debra Weiss Dance Company at the city of Boca Raton’s MLK Jr. Day annual celebration on Jan. 16.

The  celebration began with a free community breakfast at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the site of The King Monument and Allen’s Place Pearl City Community Garden (APPCCG).

PBSC students visited APPCCG, where DWDC donated a planting bed for the Pearl City Youth. They then joined in a parade to Mizner Park Amphitheatre, led by the Boca Raton Community High School Marching Band.

The program at Mizner Park featured Mayor Scott Singer, keynote speaker Patrick Franklin, president and CEO of the Urban League of Palm Beach County, and community stage performances including one from Dr. Debra Weiss and the PBSC group.

Weiss, DWDC’s artistic director and professor of health and nutrition at The City University of New York, told the audience about the new Healthy Snacks No-Cook Cookbook, part of the Healthy Living Program she runs for Pearl City Youth. The program promotes more vegetable and fruit consumption among low-income youth. She also read a poem with Barbara Griffin about gardening.

Weiss and PBSC students led the audience in the dance “Plant a Radish,” a musical number about the joys of vegetables, which her young Pearl City students had performed at Lois Martin Community Center on Jan. 12. The dance was accompanied by drummer Anthony Bacchus.

Afterward, PBSC students enjoyed a free lunch and the carnival. This is not the first time Weiss has worked with PBSC students. She has worked with them on past MLK Days and on a Women’s History Month program celebrating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

PBSC’s Student Empowerment in Action Club, led by professor Lawanna McCoy and Assistant Dean of Student Services Natasha Nettles, was designed for student who want to be empowered and succeed in college. The club creates practical activities and schedules community events to enhance students’ leadership skills in preparation for the workplace.

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