Highmark Healthy High 5 Awards $95,000 Grant to Smart Futures

Students graduate with positive self-esteem and experience post-secondary achievements

Dec 29, 2010, 16:00 ET from Highmark Foundation

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 29, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Highmark Healthy High 5, an initiative of the Highmark Foundation, recently awarded a $95,000 grant to Smart Futures for the expansion of the PA eMentoring Program, an online career mentoring opportunity for students that builds positive self-esteem and helps create better choices as they complete their high school experience.

While many students leave school with good skills and knowledge, they often lack positive self-esteem and a realistic career plan. As a result, students are unprepared and underemployed, an outcome that greatly impacts their lives as well as the economic vitality of the entire community.

"Highmark Healthy High 5 supports the implementation of programs that build positive self-esteem in youth as one of its initiatives to improve the health and well-being of our children," said Highmark Foundation President, Yvonne Cook. "The PA eMentoring Program directly addresses the needs of students with low self-esteem as they begin planning for college or career planning post-high school."

Students who participate in PA eMentoring are found to have a better understanding of their own interests, preferences and aptitudes, a more realistic understanding of post-secondary opportunities and an overall greater awareness of how these entities fit into the work world.

Smart Futures is hopeful to match 2,000 students, grades 9 – 12, with mentors who will help them research and understand available career options and educational outlets as well as encourage positive self-esteem and confidence as they enter into their post-secondary education experience.  

About Highmark Healthy High 5

Focused on children's health promotion, Highmark Healthy High 5 is an initiative of the Highmark Foundation designed to improve the health of children and adolescents ages 6-18 by providing them with the tools and practices needed to make informed decisions about living healthier lives. Through a $100 million commitment, Highmark Healthy High 5 addresses five critical issues – nutrition, physical activity, self-esteem, bullying prevention and grieving – by working with educators, parents and non-profit leaders to reach children and adolescents at school, at home and within their communities. More information can be found at www.highmarkhealthyhigh5.org or by calling 800-789-1726.

SOURCE Highmark Foundation