Pouring Their Hearts in Go Red For Women

Staff report

TYNGSBORO -- To recognize women’s heart health, Greater Lowell Technical High School, in conjunction with the American Heart Association, held a Go Red For Women event focused on promoting healthy living and heart health wellness.

Students, many dressed in red, set up informational booths to educate their peers and guests about the importance of heart health, especially for women.

This is the second year GLTHS has held a Go Red For Women event.

Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s campaign for females that aims to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women throughout the world.

The American Heart Association reports that cardiovascular diseases continue to be women’s greatest health threat, with nearly 80 percent of cardiac events able to be prevented.

“So many women aren’t as aware of the signs of a heart attack and heart health,” said American Heart Association representative Jamie Aspenson. “Go Red For Women is a way to promote heart health throughout February. I can’t say enough about how great of an event this is for the entire community.”

At one station, culinary arts juniors Olivia Reis and Jordan Cruz, both of Lowell, were giving out zucchini oat walnut chocolate chip cookies, comparing the nutrition level to that of a Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie. The latter contained more calories, sugar and saturated fat, while the zucchini cookie added more than double the amount of fiber.

“Walnuts and oats, they’re really good for your heart health because they help lower your cholesterol,” culinary arts instructor Janice Musko said. “Our goal with this project was to not only have students learn about nutrition, but to create something that was just as tasty as the Tollhouse cookie, and I think they did a great job of accomplishing that.”

At another booth, medical assisting students were demonstrating how to properly administer CPR in the event that someone with heart disease, a respiratory illness, or who experienced trauma lost consciousness.

“It’s such an important skill to be able to do to increase the chances of survival,” said junior Delaney Griffin, of Tyngsboro. “With healthy choices the hope is that you can prevent being in a situation, like cardiac arrest, where you need CPR.”

Programming and web development students demonstrated how to use body mass index and blood pressure tracking apps, while cosmetology students provided tips for stress relief while offering hand massages and paraffin wax treatment. Attendees could also receive a yoga lesson, gain information about the opioid reversal drug Narcan from Trinity EMS and learn about services available through the CVS MinuteClinic.

“We’re excited to partner with the American Heart Association on this important initiative to ensure that both men and women understand the importance of cardiovascular health,” Superintendent Joseph Mastrocola said. “This was another great event and students did a great job presenting to their peers and guests on their topic.”

The event featured a collaboration with a number of industry representatives, showcasing the strong array of partnerships developed between GLTHS and private industry.

Internally, several students in different concentration areas were involved in the effort, including culinary students working with hospitality students to distribute healthy, portioned snacks in the cafeteria and health assisting students working with medical assisting students on presentations. SkillsUSA students were also working to welcome guests as they arrived.