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Catholic school students receive over $3,000 in grants from Mayor’s Fitness Council

February 14, 2017 | posted by Stephen Chavez

Topics: Catholic Schools, Hope for the Future

Catholic school students receive over $3,000 in grants from Mayor’s Fitness Council

Students from five area Catholic schools received grants from the Mayor’s Fitness Council (MFC) to fund projects focused on health and fitness. The five schools included  Antonian College Preparatory High SchoolThe Atonement AcademyProvidence Catholic SchoolSt. Anthony Catholic High School and St. James the Apostle Catholic School.

Ivan Lundstrom
Vanessa Lundstrum
Esabella Irby
Elena Hodgkinson
St. Anthony HS

Each school’s project was led by students who submitted a grant application and presented their proposed projects to the fitness council.

“The Mayor's Fitness Council of San Antonio would like to thank the Archdiocese of San Antonio and participating catholic school campuses for their commitment to a healthier more active San Antonio,” said Andrea Bottiglieri, MFC student ambassador coordinator.

Seniors Esabella Irby and Kaitlyn Picon of Providence Catholic School will use their $1800 in grants and gift cards to host a 5K event, a health fair and create a bicycle club on campus.

"Following in my big sister's footsteps of being the Mayor's fitness council ambassador has been a huge honor and I am excited to promote healthy living to all kids my age and younger,” said Picon.

“I am going to be able to actually make my dream come true and help kids my age have a healthier lifestyle," said Picon.

"Working together with Kaitlyn, we have already succeeded in bringing a healthy vending machine to our school, and plan to continue this healthy train with our 5K/Health Fair, featuring a healthy food truck and starting a cycling group at our school," said Irby.

Students from St. James the Apostle, Joseph Garcia and Brianna Lujan used their awarded $300 to fund a health fair on campus and hosted a ‘Deck the Doors for Health’ event.

Brianna Lujan, St. James
the Apostle Catholic School
   Joseph Garcia, St. James
the Apostle Catholic School

“Each class was given a rubric to follow in decorating their classroom door. Joseph and Brianna invited Andrea Bottiglieri, the Mayor’s Fitness Council Student Ambassador Coordinator, to judge the classroom doors. The prize was a fruit cup for the each class member and extra recess,” said Sr. Carmen Botello, FMA, principal at St. James the Apostle Catholic School.

Ava Sanchez, Atonement Academy

Seventh grader, Ava Sanchez of the Atonement Academy is using her $450 grant and HEB gift card by creating a ‘Fit 4 Life Club,’ for grades 3rd and up. The club will meet twice a month through May, and will include various sessions of Zumba, martial arts, strength and condition training and talks about food and nutrition.

Sanchez created “Morning Movers’ for PK-2nd grade where young students participate in simple and fun exercises one to two times per week from 7 a.m. to 7:10 a.m. on campus.

"It has been fun to get my friends and a lot of the younger students excited about building physical activity into their days, especially while they wait in the gym after being dropped off in the morning,” said Sanchez. “The little kids really look forward to it and look up to the older kids as role models."

All five campuses are considered Mayor’s Fitness Council “Legacy Schools,” which have completed a health service project in the last year.

“The MFC is proud to work with these fine student leaders, campus mentors and school campuses to help make San Antonio one of the healthiest cities in the nation,” said Bottiglieri.

In addition to the service projects, students are considered Mayor’s Fitness Council Ambassadors and “promote and encourage healthy living at their campus and in their communities,” according the website. A total of 50 students were selected from Bexar County public and private schools.

The Mayor’s Fitness Council is part of the efforts of the Mayor Ivy Taylor’s Office and the SA2020 community vision to make health and fitness a priority in San Antonio.

"The MFC Student Ambassador Program goal is to educate, empower and equip young student leaders in being proactive in making a positive difference at their school campus and in their surrounding communities,” said Bottiglieri.

The MFC is currently accepting applications for new student ambassadors for the 2017-2018 academic year. Applications can be found at