Corpus Christi, Texas, had been called the fattest city in the nation.
Zoya, Sara, and Saherish Surani wanted to do something about it.
So the three sisters, with the help of their parents and others, created the iConquer program to get older students to teach younger students how to move more, eat right, and develop healthy habits to reduce obesity in Corpus Christi public schools.
Now the Surani sisters won the Salud America! #SaludHeroes video contest!
Watch their winning video or read the story how the sisters worked hard to develop, garner support for, fund, and sustain the iConquer program that brings a team of high school students to visit local elementary schools for about an hour once a week for four weeks to present a creative music video, animated videos, dance routines, and puppet shows.
iConquer started in in 2013.
“We were really excited to get [iConquer] started because we knew that once we got it started, we’d be able to make a difference and we could start bringing those statistics of obesity and diabetes down,” said Zoya Surani.
Since then, the iConquer team has visited over 30 local schools and attended health fairs, reaching thousands of kids through safe and interactive games and presentations.
The sisters, although in different areas of life now, still help run and promote iConquer.
Sara is attending Harvard University and has promoted the program to schools in Boston. Zoya and Saherish promote iConquer and work with a team at the Veterans Memorial High School in Corpus Christi.
They plan to keep the program going with students that are willing to step up and take the lead. There are now two high school teams with a full set of students trained and ready to teach the next group of interested students about the program.
People in California and in Austin, Texas, have also shown interest and have connected with and contacted the Surani sisters to start iConquer in their schools, too.
“My motivation is found from the children we teach because their eyes light up when they try something that’s not only good but also healthy,” Zoya told the IT’S TIME TEXAS team in an article. “The way they love to live a healthy lifestyle is the greatest motivation anyone could ask for.”
“My motivation is found from the children we teach because their eyes light up when they try something that’s not only good but also healthy,” Zoya said. “The way they love to live a healthy lifestyle is the greatest motivation anyone could ask for.”
Salud America! runs a periodic video voting contest. Salud America! is a Latino childhood obesity prevention network funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and led by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio.