By: Elise Phillips Margulis
Hailey Onweller of Long Valley, a sophomore at West Morris Central, has organized an event on April 30th, a Wellness Presentation Workshop, at her school. She will earn her Girl Scout Gold Award for putting together the workshop. Hailey chose to recruit a panel of experts in the fields of medicine, physical therapy, nutrition, psychology, law enforcement, yoga and mindfulness to educate the public about improving their health as well as preventing and managing pain.
Each professional will educate the audience about her/his approach. The physical therapist will discuss pain relief techniques used in that discipline. The doctor will talk about avoiding opioids if possible and how to take pain medicines responsibly if other alternatives don’t work. The nutritionist will share dietary tips that help reduce pain. The psychologist is also a mindfulness expert and will talk about Cognitive Behavior Therapy and how she includes wellness practices in therapy. An addiction treatment center representative will explain how she analyzes information to determine the best pain management plan for her patients. The police will talk about their efforts to end the opioid overdose crisis.
Hailey explained why she chose the Wellness Workshop for her Girl Scout Gold Award. “I have always had an interest in the Opioid epidemic from hearing about it from community information and through the news. I find that it is very scary and can affect anyone very easily. Last spring, I helped at an event led by the police chief and other law enforcers in town. There I learned about the magnitude of the opioid epidemic and knew that I wanted to help in some way to prevent it. I also wanted to target people within our community. I decided that using the word opioid may come across negatively and wanted to focus more on ways to prevent and stop pain that are better for you than addictive drugs like opioids. I have talked to many professionals along the way who have helped me learn more about the issues and solutions surrounding this problem, some of whom will be talking at the event I am hosting.”
This isn’t Hailey’s first project to help others. For her Girl Scout Silver Award, she compiled a list of organizations that needed volunteers and then conducted a leadership workshop to teach the National Junior Honor Society at her high school how to be a leader and how to get help in the community. For her Girl Scout Bronze Award, Hailey led a workshop in which attendees made blankets for children at Goryeb Children’s Hospital.
Hailey participates in many extracurricular activities when she isn’t organizing workshops and making blankets. She plays field hockey and is a member of multiple clubs including Relay for Life and Highlanders for Humanity. She’s also in the Science Club and is an officer in the Long Valley Juniorettes service club. In addition, she volunteers at Hackettstown Hospital once a week.
Hailey plans to continue helping people professionally. “I am extremely interested in STEM fields and hope to go into engineering or a health related field in the future. I feel as though my project is helping me to become aware of issues that affect public health in my community as well as in the world. I am hoping that this project can help people to learn about ways to avoid using pain medication and to become more aware of healthy alternatives for managing and preventing.”
She’s accomplished so much already and will certainly find a way to continue her mission. For more information, go to: www.eventbrite.com/e/wellness-presentation-tickets-59562197135?aff=eivtefrnd