Own the Overpath from the Classroom the the Boardroom


Live Well Lauderhill continues to explore innovative approaches to engage community members around the safety concerns of the 19th Street Overpath. Recently, a group of 50 Lauderhill Older Adults and 20 Lauderhill Teens participated in Own the Overpath focus groups. We discussed how the community can collectively support Live Well’s effort.

We also explored solutions to how the community can better be connected to one another. The Overpath was seen as an asset and a resource to engage community members in service learning opportunities such as community gardening.

Meanwhile, the Own the Overpath Collaborative (Lauderhill Commissioner Benson, Broward County Public Schools, Florida Power and Light, Florida Department of Transportation, the Turnpike Authority, Florida International University, and the Y of Broward) have been meeting to explore the policies created for the Overpath. The Collaborative has been researching over 25 year old policies to better support student and pedestrian safety.

Lauderhill Older Adults using the Big Picture Deck to tell their community stories.

Lauderhill Y Executive Director, Jocelyn Boyd, facilitating a community focus group.

Lauderhill Teens creatively expressing what “community” means to them.

Own the Overpath Collaborative discussing Overpath Policies dating back more than 25 years!


Broward County School Board Chair, Laurie Rich Levinson, Meets with Live Well Lauerhill Teens


Earlier in February, some of the Live Well Lauderhill teen leaders met with School Board Chair Laurie Rich Levinson and Broward County Public Schools Food and Nutrition Service Director Mary Mulder. Broward County Public Schools sought out honest and open feedback from the students regarding their school provided meals.

The teen leaders were excited to see healthier fruits and vegetables offered during breakfast and lunch. They offered ideas and suggestions about how to incorporate more options into what is being served. The students were excited to be introduced to new fruits and vegetables. Several of the teen leaders have said that the healthier options have allowed them to try new items that are outside of their comfort zone.

Jasmine Carter said that her favorite lunch items are the salad entrees. She suggested that the BCPS start expanding their salad menu so that more kids would be open to trying the salads.

Jasmine has been invited by BCPS to serve on a healthy vending task force as a student leader. There she will provide innovative ideas on how to incorporate healthy vending options to the school meals.

Live Well Lauderhill is looking forward to our ongoing partnership with Broward County Public Schools to increase opportunities for healthy eating in the school setting.

photo 1

photo 2

Live Well Lauderhill students host the TOUCH partners


Live Well Lauderhill students hosted the TOUCH (Transforming Our Communitites Health) Collaborative for a community tour and an update on their progress to create a healthier community surrounding Lauderhill Middle School and the Lauderhill Y.  Would love your feedback on the tour and any follow up questions for the students.

Officer Sarvis explains his role in the community and the connections between health, saftey, and community outcomes.

Officer Sarvis explains his role in the community and the connections between health, saftey, and community outcomes.

 Chennel Whyte strategizes with Broward Regional Health Planning Council CEO Mike Delucca and Patrice Gillespie Smith, Program Manager at Urban Health Partnerships

Chennel Whyte strategizes with Broward Regional Health Planning Council CEO Mike Delucca and Patrice Gillespie Smith, Program Manager at Urban Health Partnerships

Students Educate TOUCH leadership

Coverage of Live Well Lauderhill Students Being Honored by MLK III


See video of the Live Well Lauderhill students being honored by MLK III at the MLK Jr. Inspirational Breakfast.







Own the Overpath Groundbreaking Media Coverage


Happy Thanksgiving and Holiday Season!

The juggernaut that is Live Well Lauderhill is receiving amazing coverage in the local news. Being able to document the ground breaking event through media coverage will help us tell our story in the future to other communities. Here is a list of links to some of the news outlets that have covered the groundbreaking event.




Sun Sentinel Lauderhill Students Overpass 11.2.12 Upright

SFL Times 11.2.12 Lauderhill 19th Street improvements inspired

Lauderhill Forum Sun Sentinel 11.8.12

Own the Overpath Groundbreaking!


Yesterday, Live Well Lauderhill, Mayor Kaplan, Vice Mayor Benson, Lauderhill city officials, parents, the YMCA, Florida Department of Transportation, and many other community partners gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of the 19th Street Overpath construction.

Mayor Kaplan kicked off the event talking about the process that the city of Lauderhill in collaboration with Live Well Lauderhill has undergone to make this meaningful change in the community. Vice Mayor Benson touched us with his inspiring message to the students to continue their work as community advocates.
Overpath Leader, Kervens Jean-Louis shared his story and why Own the Overpath will bring long lasting community change to Lauderhill.

The consistent message throughout the event from the Lauderhill City Leaders, YMCA CEO Sheryl Woods, and YMCA Board Chair Dick Blatner was that these kinds of changes to the infrastructure of a community often go through a drawn out process. But Live Well Lauderhill, and especially the student leaders, was able to bring everyone together to achieve a common goal. It is hard to believe that the community walk with Mark Fenton happened less than year ago on November 17th! Much has been accomplished this year and much more needs to get done.

Live Well Lauderhill is using the momentum of the groundbreaking to progress the other goals and objectives in the Community Action Plan.

19th Street Construction Around Overpath Groundbreaking This Thursday!!


Students Work with Mayor to Inspire Safety Improvements

Student Inspired Upgrades at the 19th Street Overpass Come to Life with Lauderhill Mayor and Commission Support

Lauderhill City Officials and Y Teens to Celebrate $420,000 Safety Improvement

Project on Thursday, November 1st at 4:00p.m. at the Lauderhill Middle School Overpass Access 

LAUDERHILL, FL– On Thursday, November 1st  at 4:00 pm students from the YMCA representing the Live Well Lauderhill Community Action Plan will join Mayor Kaplan, Vice Mayor Benson, City Commissioners, YMCA CEO, and other City Leaders to celebrate the official commencement of a $420,000 “19th Street Greenway Project” at the school’s overpass entrance behind Lauderhill Middle School – 1901 NW 49 Avenue. (Event Parking is on the Lauderhill Middle School Ball Field. The entrance to the field is on the service road located on the west side of NW 49 Avenue one block south of the NW 21st Street and NW 49th Avenue 4 way stop – the service road is between water plant and ball fields.)

The “19th Street Greenway Project” which is funded in part by the Florida Department of Transportation Local Agency Program, will include lighting, wider sidewalks and crime deterrent environmental landscaping. The City’s implementation of improvements is a result of the student-led initiatives to voice safety concerns about walking to and from their school and their Lauderhill Community YMCA. The teens have been meeting with the Mayor, Vice Mayor and City Officials since January to develop solutions that will improve safety around the student’s walkway.

Lauderhill Police Reports documented 266 criminal incidents on the Overpass in 2011

  • Approximately 80% of the students who attend Lauderhill Middle School live on the West Side of the Turnpike and should be able to use the Overpass to travel between their school and home.
  • Many do not use the pedestrian walkway due to the unsafe conditions.
  • Many students do not stay after school at the Y for wellness and enrichment programs because of the danger of traveling home after dark. The unsafe conditions of the pedestrian walkway decreases physical activity and increases obesity in students.

The project was inspired by middle and high school students at the Lauderhill Y who became advocates for their community through an initiative called Live Well Lauderhill. Live Well Lauderhill is an initiative that is funded through the Pioneering Healthier Communities Grant from the YMCA of the USA (YUSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Live Well Lauderhill seeks to make improvements for all in the City of Lauderhill, by addressing safety, health and environmental issues. These same students also met with School Board members Laurie Rich-Levinson and Ben Williams to discuss healthy food options in and around Lauderhill Y as part of the overall Community Action Plan.

The Broward County Community Action Plan is the result of community conversations, a community tour, and student presentations. It formally presents the student-led community agenda for change with detailed time lines, action steps, and outcomes. One of the three plan objectives identified was the 19th Street Overpass being a barrier to health and wellbeing in the Lauderhill community.

About YMCA Broward County

The YMCA of Broward County was named a Pioneering Healthier Community grantee in 2011, by the CDC and YUSA. This grant challenges the Y to convene a broad-based community leadership group to make policy, system, and environmental changes that create a healthier community.

As one of the area’s largest nonprofits, this organization is committed to addressing the most pressing needs of our community. In 2011, this YMCA Association of over 1000 employees, gave $1.22 million dollars back to families in need and served over 200,000 Broward residents through 7 Family Centers and nearly 100 afterschool, special needs, youth and senior health outreach sites. Visit www.ymcabroward.org for additional information.