One student says health fairs really get the students' attention. Two area universities were taking a stand on health Wednesday.
Students at Florida A&M and Florida State Universities took time away from the classroom to learn more about their health, a day of both fun and learning important lessons in health. Students packed into FAMU's Grand Ballroom Wednesday for the 2nd Annual Rattler Health Initiative.
Tony Pearson, the event coordinator, says, "As African-Americans we are at the extreme of every health disparity. It is very important for us to get tested early on. That's why I'm trying to get it to the students now so as they get older they are more healthy and more knowledgeable."
Cherise Charles, a FAMU sophomore, says, "I don't think we follow a strict health regimen, so when I saw the fair I was really interested."
Students got an introductory course in eating healthy foods as well as taking part in a host of screenings checking for sickle cell and high blood pressure.
Anya Lebron, PharmD and graduate of the FAMU School of Pharmacy says, "When you have high blood pressure and diabetes, that could lead to more complicated problems with your cholesterol as well as your heart. It could lead to strokes, even death."
Over at Florida State students waited in line to save lives by giving blood. Officials with the Southeastern Community Blood Center were aiming for donors between 17-24 years of age.
Dennis Charles, an FSU student, says, "They are valuable resources to people whose lives can be saved simply by their donations."
Students at both universities say while classes may be a challenge, you can never learn too much about your health.
This year FSU is participating in the national "Blood Saves" campaign, a project designed to raise college students' awareness of the importance of regular blood donation.