The U.S. Army Challenge gave students at Austin a chance to bond over pushups, burpees and obstacle courses while testing their mental and physical prowess.
Hundreds of students formed teams of four to take on the challenge at the school’s gym. They competed for bragging rights and some Army swag.
The challenge began with a fitness relay where each of the four-member took on 10 pushups, 10 sit ups, five burpees and 10 jumping jacks before heading off to more tactical challenges.
“They have to have some type of plan or objective to figure out how they’re going to accomplish their mission for that particular task,” said Anthony Dinkins, JROTC senior army instructor, who was instrumental in bringing the program to Austin.
“They will pick whoever is the best commander to lead them through a particular exercise based on the team members that they have and they decide how they want to attack obstacles.”
At the Strategy Tower, the students used their critical thinking skills to strategically maneuver pieces of the Lucas Tower-like puzzle before running to the Extraction challenge. This final challenge took kids through a series of rope obstacles, testing their teamwork, leadership and physical fitness skills. The goal was to complete all three stations in fewer than 90 seconds.
“It’s been an overall good learning experience,” senior Alexander Rice said. “You learn meet people in your class and you learn how to work together, how to use proper teamwork to complete your mission.”
Rice and junior Taylor Wood teamed up with students they didn’t know to complete the obstacles. After the first round through, they became more strategic and assigned tasks based on the strengths they saw on their team in the initial round.
“I really appreciate them coming out here and letting all the students do it,” she said. “It’s a lot of good experience because you get to learn teamwork and commitment and confidence. It really builds up their confidence and it makes them know, hey, I can actually do this or I’m not really good but maybe I can improve on this.”
The challenge also brought in recruiters from the army and university ROTC programs, Wood liked the fact that it united both Austin’s JROTC cadets with other students.
“I really appreciate them coming out here,” Wood said. “I hope the continue to do this and for other schools, too.”
Other obstacles the students took on included the Victory Wall, which required teams to figure the bet way to move across the wall using hand pegs and foot holds to get from one side to the other. Each of the pegs touched by team members get removed as they go across – further requiring some though and strategy. The students tested their upper body strength at the pull up bar.
“I honestly liked was that you were just put onto a random team,” said Wood, JROTC battalion commander at Austin. “You didn’t choose your best friends or your friends. You were just throw in it and you met and you’re just like, okay, ‘I’m good at pushups or I’m good at sit ups or I’m really good at burpees.’ It was a lot of fun because we got to bond and figure out who this person was and what their strengths and weaknesses were. It was a true bonding experience.”
The competition was held on Tuesday, October 9.
Friday night featured a long-time rivalry renewed, as the Austin Panthers took on the Andress Eagles.
In the end, it was the Eagles who were able to pounce on the Panthers, en route to a 30-12 win.
Our very own Johnny Yturales was there and brings you his view of the game in this ‘Story in Many Pics’
The City of El Paso Department of Public Health is working with officials at Austin High School to notify parents, students, teachers, and staff that they may have been exposed to a student with pertussis, also known as whooping cough.
“We don’t want to create alarm or panic for anyone involved in this possible exposure, but we do want to make sure that children, their parents, and any adults affected, recognize the importance of following the recommendations mentioned in the letter,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director.
Letters are being sent home to parents, and health officials are asking that students take great care in making sure the letters are reviewed in detail.
The letter suggests that they contact their primary care provider to let the doctor know that they may have been exposed to pertussis and to ensure that they are up-to-date with their vaccines. A physician should see anyone with a cough. If they are diagnosed with pertussis, they will be prescribed the appropriate antibiotic therapy. Anyone diagnosed should avoid public activities including school, sporting events, etc., until completion of a 5 day course of antibiotics.
Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial infection that is spread through the air by coughing. Pertussis begins with cold-like symptoms and a cough which become much worse over one to two weeks.
Symptoms also usually include a long series of coughs (“coughing fits”) followed by a whooping noise. Intense coughing may be followed by vomiting, turning blue, or difficulty in catching one’s breath. There is generally no fever involved. The cough is often worse at night and cough medications usually do not help control the cough.
HOUSTON – To help train youth to become educators and advocates for tobacco policy change, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health in El Paso is partnering with El Paso Independent School District high schools to create an innovative new program.
As part of its A Smoke Free Paso del Norte initiative, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation awarded UTHealth School of Public Health nearly $150,000 to implement Youth Advocating for Policy EXecution (APEX). The unique program will teach youth how to advocate for policy changes that will reduce tobacco use among adults, prevent tobacco use among youth and reduce exposure to secondhand smoke.
The program, which begins in August, will start at three schools: Bowie High School, Chapin High School and Austin High School. The program may be expanded to include more schools in the future.
“We’re helping to train the next generation of policy advocates and helping foster long-term leadership and career development,” said Louis Brown, Ph.D., the program’s leader and assistant professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at UTHealth School of Public Health in El Paso. “Most policy change initiatives are adult-driven and don’t involve youth. Youth APEX is not the standard paradigm. Instead, this is a paradigm shift.”
The program will operate as an after-school club at each school, allowing students to participate in five different policy and environmental initiatives throughout the school year. A campus coordinator at each school will recruit students and collaborate with UTHealth staff in trainings, as well as in the implementation of tobacco control activities.
The first activity will be retailer compliance checks, which will focus on enforcing the policies that are already in place to reduce the purchase of tobacco products by individuals under the age of 18. The compliance checks will be conducted in collaboration with the El Paso Department of Public Health and Aliviane, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides behavioral health, treatment and recovery services.
For the next project, students will work on promoting the adoption of smoke-free apartment complexes.
“The students will survey residents about their views on smoke-free housing,” said Brown. “Our plan is to collect the data and share it with property owners to help them consider the pros and cons of smoke-free housing.”
Other activities in the program will include a social media campaign and collective action aimed at encouraging pharmacies to stop selling tobacco.
In the final phase of the program, students will write letters to Texas state senators and representatives advocating to raise the minimum age required to purchase tobacco products to 21.
“We often see youth as part of the problem instead of the solution. They are often underestimated because people don’t see the possibilities,” Brown said. “This is an important public health issue and youth have a powerful voice that is uniquely capable of attracting media attention, garnering sympathy and swaying public opinion.”
Antonio Monreal, a senior at Austin High School, has received the prestigious QuestBridge Scholarship and with it early admission to the California Institute of Technology, one of the most exclusive universities in the United States.
The scholarship will pay Monreal’s full tuition, room and board and other expenses to Caltech – a university that has lower admittance rates than schools like Harvard and Stanford. He is only one of four students nationwide to receive early admission to Caltech.
QuestBridge last week announced the 657 scholarships it will award this year to exceptional students with above average academics and outstanding test scores who come from low-income neighborhoods. Monreal said the scholarship makes Caltech – his first choice for college – a reality.
“Caltech is the center of innovation in the United States. It’s where all technology comes from,” he said. “I think it’s the place for me.”
Monreal has not yet decided on a major, and he is considering chemical or materials engineering, mathematics and physics. Whatever route he takes, he says he wants to make a difference in his community.
“I want to change the world. I want to do more for people and give back to my community,” he added.
Austin Principal Craig Kehrwald said Monreal’s story is extraordinary not just because of his academic prowess, but also because of his language barriers. Monreal enrolled at Austin four years ago after moving from Juárez and speaking no English.
Within two years he exited the English as a Second Language Program while taking advanced math and science courses.
“Antonio epitomizes everything that is right with our education system,” Kehrwald said. “I am so proud that an Austin High graduate will continue his education at such a prestigious university.”
Author: El Paso ISD