Sugar and Spice members at the Kiest Park event

Sugar and Spice, 2013-2014 New Student Organization of the Year, is making its impact on Collin College and the surrounding Dallas-Fort Worth community.

With the group’s mission focused on mentoring young girls to live happier and healthier lifestyles, Jessica Gibson, 2014-2015 Sugar and Spice president, said joining the group fit perfectly with her career path as a dietician.

“I knew this would provide me the opportunity to serve others, but also simultaneously be a learning experience for me,” Gibson said.

Organization advisor Traci Ramsey and Gibson both name the recent event at Kiest Park in Dallas as one of their favorite activities this year.

Working in conjunction with the Junior League of Dallas and Sugar and Spices’ parent organization, Play Like a Girl, members encouraged attending children to be physically active through a variety of activities. These included obstacle courses, tennis, volleyball and soccer.

“One of the highlights for us, as an organization, was performing our workout routine for everyone in attendance,” Gibson said. “Our routine consisted of five sections including stretching, Zumba, cardio, strength training and yoga followed by a cool down, which everyone seemed to enjoy. The idea of seeing so many people from different walks of life unify under the sole purpose of helping young girls live healthier and happier lives has had a profound effect on me.”

Footage from the recent Kiest Park event is currently featured on a Telemundo healthy living ad that runs in the Dallas area:

Other Sugar and Spice activities have included a photo voice project, which works to bring attention to certain issues within the community using pictures, personal experiences and research and documenting why it’s harder for minorities in South Dallas to eat healthy.

Gibson said their team understands the importance of being relatable when working with and attempting to reach middle school girls.

“As young adults, we’ve been through the same struggles as our mentees, whether it be trying to fit in, figuring out who you are or finding that happy place when everything else around you seems to be crashing down,” Gibson said. “One thing I’ve realized through this program is that you never stop learning.”

Gibson notes a range of skills she’s grown in through Sugar and Spice, such as leadership, teamwork and being supportive.

“Over the year, we have seen not only a change in ourselves as mentors, but also a positive change in our mentees as well,” Gibson said. “Our mentees have grown to believe in themselves more than ever before and learned the consequences of not making healthy choices. It’s so exciting to know that at such a young age, our mentors can impact the lives of young girls.”

For more information about Sugar and Spice or other student organizations, visit http://www.collin.edu/campuslife/student_orgs.html.

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