Young women in New York City have been learning about nutrition from Fordham senior Marie Georgantzas (GSB ’14), who has been featured in the New York Daily News and on Good Day New York for her work.
Marie is part of an organization called Energy Up, founded 12 years ago to help girls in urban areas to get “fit, fabulous and fierce.” The group is currently working with five schools in the New York area to promote its nutritional program — including limiting sugar intake to 24 grams in 24 hours, and increasing the amount of water kids drink — but its main goal is to change the attitudes of urban youth.
Its message is about being happy where one is, while always working to be better.
Marie first got involved with Energy Up while in high school, through her work with The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem. It was there that she met Energy Up founder Kathie Dolgin, who goes by the name “High Voltage.”
Energy Up’s program is five weeks in length and involves a variety of fun, stylish events meant to engage the kids. Brightly colored decorations, healthy snacks and plenty of water are provided at each gathering, which range from “Fab Fierce Film Fridays” to exercise sessions, which are accompanied by a live DJ and sometimes led by celebrities such as Kesha Nichols of VH1’s reality show Basketball Wives.
Marie not only assists with leading events, but also does all the filming, editing and production of videos for Energy Up’s blog and YouTube channel, operating under her own label: Jaki-G Productions. She is a business administration major at Fordham, with concentrations in both marketing and information systems. She’s also doing a minor in theater.
Many people involved with Energy Up have lost significant amounts of weight, but Marie said the greatest reward is changing the girls’ mindset about themselves. She is looking at career options that would allow her to combine her passions for media and nutrition, and she aims to continue giving back to the community through Energy Up after her Fordham graduation.
Photographs courtesy of Marie Georgantzas.