MSU Extension wellness program is bridging the health care gap to empower youth in rural Mississippi

Mississippi State University Extension’s wellness program is helping making a difference in Bolton when it comes to educating young people on the importance of a healthy lifestyle and recognizing health risks in their rural community.

Access to proper healthcare is a significant concern for those residing in farm country, and Mississippi State University’s (MSU) Extension Junior Master Wellness Volunteer program is making a substantial impact on the lives of rural children in the state.

In a recently-funded, five-minute video supported by the National 4-H Council and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for Well Connected Communities Wave 3, the program’s success in promoting health and wellness in Bolton is spotlighted.

Highlighting the unique challenges faced by rural communities, the video captures the essence of Bolton—its close-knit community, and the specific health concerns they have, including a rising prevalence of diabetes among the youth. Despite these challenges, Bolton takes pride in its community-oriented spirit, emphasizing the importance of outdoor amenities like a walking trail and a well-equipped park.

The Junior Master Wellness Volunteer program, operating under MSU Extension, can be a beacon of hope for rural youth ages 14 to 18. Addressing health literacy, the program educates participants on making informed choices about their overall well-being. Personal testimonials in the video showcase the positive impact of the program, emphasizing the cultivation of healthy habits, the significance of exercise, and the boost in confidence among participants.