Nearly 1 in 3 young Americans is overweight or obese, but in the words of First Lady Michelle Obama, “We need to quit quoting statistics and get going!” Parents, teachers, and administrators aren’t the only ones who can make an impact in schools.

DoSomething.org announced today a national campaign to combat this growing issue through the teens and students themselves, empowering them to make their schools and communities healthier.

The “Healthy Schools Challenge” asks teens to find innovative ways to make changes in their schools and submit their plans throughout the month of October. Through the fall, students will execute their plans to make their schools healthier. Top efforts will be rewarded with up to five individual $1,000 scholarships.

DoSomething.org has teamed with World Champion athlete and health advocate Laila Ali, who encourages teens in a new Public Service Announcement (PSA) to take charge of a nation-wide movement to create healthier food options and more fitness activities in schools.

“From a very young age, I’ve learned the importance of exercise and giving your body the fuel it needs to stay strong,” explains Laila Ali. “I am excited to be part of a campaign encouraging kids to take control of their own future by tackling this issue where it starts, in our nation’s schools.”

Teens are encouraged to find creative ways to enact healthy change in their schools, such as campaigning to kick processed food out of the cafeteria, organizing biking trips to school with their friends, or starting intramural sports leagues.

“With so many young Americans fighting weight issues, this campaign intends to give teens the power to take their health and the health of their schools in their own hands,” says DoSomething.org’s Brittany Castaneda. “We believe change will start with giving teens a voice, so we’re launching a challenge to all the young people out there to perform their own school makeover.”

One winning project will be selected to receive a party for their school, a $1,000 scholarship for the teen taking the lead, and $1,000 scholarships for up to four friends who help him or her organize.

For more information, visit DoSomething.org/HealthySchools.

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