Despite Thursday’s less than perfect weather, FAMU Park was filled with people carrying pamphlets and flyers, while a DJ played tunes from a nearby stage.
Students smiled and laughed as they moved around tents, stopping at booths that caught their interest. These students were at one of Florida A&M annual Homecoming fairs.
This was not your typical fair, though; there were no games or candied apples, no clowns or carnival rides. This was a health fair, and students were there to learn about wellness and get tested.
“It’s something that we do in order to celebrate health and wellness on the campus of Florida A&M University,” said Mildred P. Brickler, coordinator of experiential programs in the College of Pharmacy and key orchestrator of the event.
“We’ll have about 20 screenings that are being done, so we’re just happy that the community supports this effort by allowing people to come out and celebrate health promotion and disease prevention.”
The health fair took place on Thursday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at FAMU Park. Students were able to browse booths dedicated to HIV/AIDS, mental health, breast cancer, abuse, sickle cell disease, smoking and more. Free testing was provided for HIV, high blood pressure, diabetes, and vision.
“Everyone should know the status on their health,” Asia Madison, a first-year computer and electrical engineering student from Jacksonville, said.
“I mean, it’s free. You just get a paper, walk around, learn information and get tested.”
Many students seemed greatful of the opportunity to attend the fair. They also suggested going to the fair was a lot easier than making the journey to Foote-Hilyer.
“I haven’t been able to make it to the health department or the doctor’s office. Since it’s free, and I’m able to make it, I came,” Stephanie Delice, a third-year criminal justice major from Ft. Lauderdale, said. “It’s important to be informed because you never know.”
Aside from the informational benefits, students who attended were also treated to supplemental events as well. This included a routine by FAMU cheerleaders, a yoga session, a Zumba fitness session and a demonstration by Faces Modeling Troupe and the FAMU recreational center.
“We want to show how fun it can be and how fashionable it can be to … maintain your health,” Henrietta Fasany, the student chair and junior biology student from Tallahassee, said.
“We’ve been working on this since back in June, July,” Brickler added. “We just continue to plan and hope that our plans pay off.”
She went on to say that she was pleased with the turnout.
“Even if you don’t want to learn about your health, you can learn something else; you can help someone else,” said Delice. “And that’s always worth it.”