4-H and Molina Healthcare Announce Winners of Teens Take on Health Video Challenge

One grand-prize winner and four top finalists pose solutions to important health issues they face

Jun 25, 2013, 10:00 ET from National 4-H Council

CHEVY CHASE, Md., June 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National 4-H Council and Molina Healthcare are pleased to announce the winners of the national Teens Take on Health Video Challenge. The online video contest sought to give teens across the nation a platform to speak out about the health challenges they are facing in their family, school or community.

Marley Molkentin, 15, a rising sophomore at St. Ursula Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio, received the grand prize award for her winning submission – Solving Food Deserts. In the video, Molkentin addressed the need for more community gardens to be developed in areas where residents lack access to healthy food choices at local stores and instead rely on fast food markets and gasoline stations for their nutrition. 

Molkentin's winning presentation was one of 84 videos submitted by teenagers across the nation who responded to the 4-H – Molina Healthcare Teens Take on Health Video Challenge. The grand prize includes an all expense paid trip for four to New York City, a $1,000 cash prize and $2,500 to be donated to the organization of her choice.

Molkentin learned about food deserts from her mother who works in the health care field. "When I heard about the contest I wanted to do something on a unique topic and decided to choose food deserts," said Molkentin. The Cincinnati teenager learned about the contest from her health teacher who was aware of Molkentin's video production skills. In her video, Molkentin challenges other teens to "join me in creating a community garden near you and start making the world a little bit more healthy."   

"Given today's health challenges, it is vital that we empower America's youth to step up and take on real life challenges like obesity, teen pregnancy, underage drinking and local food deserts," said Donald T. Floyd, Jr., president and CEO, National 4-H Council. "We are grateful to Molina Healthcare for partnering with 4-H to give young people a platform to engage other youth and adults to create real-life solutions that improve health for themselves, their family, community and ultimately, the nation," added Floyd. 

The video challenge is one component of a multi-faceted campaign co-created by National 4-H Council and Molina Healthcare to empower American teens to step forward and raise their voices, posing solutions to today's leading health issues. In the coming months, 4-H programs across the nation will be hosting Teens Take on Health town hall meetings, bringing young people together to discuss the top health issues they face and propose active solutions they can undertake to make a positive difference in their communities.

"Molina Healthcare is committed to improving the health of the communities we serve," said Martha Bernadett, MD, executive vice president of research and innovation at Molina Healthcare, Inc. "We need to engage our young leaders if we want to make meaningful change, and this partnership with 4-H has given some of our brightest teens a platform to share their ideas and also the resources to implement them."

In addition to the grand prize, each of the four finalists will receive a $500 cash award:

  • Dayzhane Anderson, 15, Milwaukee High School of Arts, Milwaukee, Wisconsin:  Messages through Music: Sex Can Wait!
  • Ryan Lacanilao, 16, Elk Grove High School, Elk Grove, California: Alcohol and Driving Combined by Teens
  • Elisabeth Moughon, 16, home school, Erwin, Tennessee:  4-H Hikes to Health (group project)
  • Nikita Rodriguez, 15, Booker High School, Bradenton, Florida:  Move Your Body

To view all of the final five videos, click here.

Molkentin has selected Gabriel's Place in Cincinnati to be the recipient of her $2500 award. The mission of Gabriel's Place is to provide a "safe, beautiful and spiritually nourishing gathering place for the Avondale community…" according to its web site. She is excited about donating the prize money to Gabriel's Place, which grows fresh vegetables and fruits in its community garden. Gabriel's Place is one of three places where Molkentin videotaped her contest submission. The other locations are Gorman Heritage Farm and Permaganic Co., also based in Cincinnati.

About Molina Healthcare
Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE: MOH), a FORTUNE 500 company, provides quality and cost-effective Medicaid-related solutions to meet the health care needs of low-income families and individuals and to assist state agencies in their administration of the Medicaid program. The Company's licensed health plans in California, Florida, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin currently serve approximately 1.8 million members, and its subsidiary, Molina Medicaid Solutions, provides business processing and information technology administrative services to Medicaid agencies in Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, New Jersey, and West Virginia, and drug rebate administration services in Florida. More information about Molina Healthcare is available at www.molinahealthcare.com.

About 4-H 4-H, the largest youth development organization, is a community of seven million young people around the world learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within USDA. In the U.S., 4-H programs are implemented by the 109 land grant universities and the Cooperative Extension System through their 3,100 local Extension offices across the country. Overseas, 4-H programs operate throughout more than 50 countries.

Learn more about 4-H at www.4-H.org, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/4-H and Twitter at https://twitter.com/4H.

SOURCE National 4-H Council