News & Events
Read up on the latest environmental headlines; we hope to keep our community and fellow students up-to-date with the latest information regarding our earth's health!
HEAL members present at Marshall Elementary School on the impact of the environment on human health
June 6th - June 7th, 2022 | HEAL
HEAL was extremely excited to visit Marshall Elementary School this week and share with fourth graders how the environment can have a direct impact on human health. This initiative was led by HEAL president, Arman Lateef, and vice -presidents, Mia Hicks and Sophia Qamari. We also had our amazing EN-bassadors, Fares Elsherbiny, Vivian Quint, and Layla Moussavi join us on this important mission.
In examining how environmental topics are currently covered within science curricula, HEAL leaders discovered a narrow focus on conservation and the effects of human activities on the environment, missing an opportunity to educate our youth on how the environment directly relates to their own health and well-being.
HEAL aims to revolutionize environmental education by creatively emphasizing how the environment directly impacts students’ own health, shifting the focus from being external and distant to very personal and immediate.
HEAL members invited to Ramadan Engagement with Secretary
Alejandro N. Mayorkas
April 11th, 2022 | HEAL
HEAL was honored by the invitation to attend a Ramadan Engagement event with Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, head of the United States Department of Homeland Security. HEAL leaders Arman Lateef and Sophia Qamari, along with HEAL EN-bassador, Leena Sherdil, had the opportunity to discuss our successful campaign to raise funds and provide feminine hygiene kits to Afghan refugees. They also learned about the various efforts and organizations involved in making the refugee resettlement program as smooth as possible.
HEAL members create and deliver hygiene packages to help support Afghan Refugees
March 17th, 2022 | HEAL
EN-bassadors Leena and Salma Sherdil, with efforts from HEAL leaders, Sophia Qamari and Arman Lateef – successfully raised over $5000 to fund the Feminine Hygiene Products drive for Afghan Refugees. The HEAL members delivered 275 feminine hygiene kits to a refugee housing facility in Leesburg, VA. We are incredibly grateful to Operation Allies Welcome, the branch of Homeland Security that oversees refugee resettlement, for helping facilitate this donation.
HEAL members donate collected Winter Clothing items to local Non-Profit Organization
January 27th, 2022 | HEAL
HEAL members Tony Bright and Gabriel Ralston dropped off items collected during HEAL's winter clothing drive to donate to the non-profit organization Help Us Grow Strong (H.U.G.S) whose mission is to "Provide basic needs for persons experiencing homelessness while working towards affordable housing in Prince William County". In coordination and partnership with Colgan High School SCA, 4Girls4Change, and H.U.G.S. representative Annemarie Landry, HEAL was successful in collecting almost 200 items that included warm socks, winter hats, fleece pullovers, and blankets which will be given to the PWC homeless community through H.U.G.S. HEAL, Colgan SCA, 4Girls4Change, and H.U.G.S are grateful for the community’s donations to this important cause, and we hope to continue helping individuals in need.
HEAL begins Outdoor Recycling Program at Colgan High School
With collaboration with the PWC Energy Management and Sustainability Team (EMAST), HEAL has begun the first Outdoor Recycling Program at Charles J. Colgan High School. HEAL is grateful for the continuous support from EMAST members Brian Gorham and Jessica Wiemer, who played vital roles in the completion of this program. This Outdoor Recycling Program was created as a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) experience, meaning teachers can use this PBL to promote scenarios about recycling, energy conservation, and waste management to their students. HEAL plans to work to expand the use of this PBL experience across the county, starting with Elementary Schools.
Check out the full article below!
Click Below for More Information on our PBL Project!
November 22nd, 2021 | HEAL
HEAL members present at prestigious Global Health Leaders Conference
at John Hopkins University
July 22nd, 2021 | HEAL
Members of the HEAL leadership team, Hamza Arman Lateef and Sophia Qamari, were selected to attend the Global Health Leaders Conference at Johns Hopkins University last summer. This event is a Hopkins graduate student and faculty led project. At this international conference high school students, selected after a competitive application process, learn about issues in global health, public health, and medicine directly from international leaders in these fields. In addition to attending the conference, Lateef submitted a proposal to present his own environmental health related work and was chosen to be one of the student speakers at the conference. Lateef’s presentation, “To Breathe or not to Breathe: Examining the Health Impacts of Air Pollution and the Efficacy of Select Mitigation Measures” can be found here. He shared findings from his research, conducted with colleagues Tony Bright and Gabriel Ralston, also students at Charles J. Colgan High School. Lateef, Bright, and Ralston have also published their work in the Pre-Collegiate Global Health Review.
Lateef, Bright and Ralston are currently attending the Governor’s School at Innovation Park, a partial-day Academic Year Governor’s School program with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
Check out the full video here.
HEAL launches their first Environmental Health Camp
July 20th, 2021 | HEAL
HEAL is thrilled to launch our first ever Environmental Health camp for an amazing group of rising fifth graders at Neabsco Elementary School in Woodbridge, VA. We are thankful to the fantastic leadership of Neabsco ES, Principal Tsang and Assistant Principal Levicchi for partnering with us. Also, we appreciate the support of One World - From Science to Service, a student run non-profit organization, for sponsoring this camp with us.
We also welcomed the new Prince William County Schools Superintendent, Dr. LaTanya McDade to our workshop on water filtration systems.
Advocating for an Office of Sustainability in Prince William County, Virginia
April 28th, 2021 | HEAL
HEAL was proud to partner with other environmental champions such as the Greater Prince William Climate Action Network and Mothers Out front to advocate for an Office of Sustainability on Prince William County and signed on to a letter of support for the sustainability initiatives. Also, HEAL President Arman Lateef and HEAL EN-bassador, Fares Elsherbiny, spoke strongly at the April 6th County Board of Supervisor meeting as they were deliberating about the County’s budget for this year. We urged the Board to allocate budget funds to hire several staff for an Office of Energy and Sustainability that will focus on the development and creation of a JUST and EQUITABLE climate action plan for PWC.
On April 28th, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) adopted the FY22 budget that included, for the first time in the county’s history, funding for a Sustainability Program that will consist of $200,000 for the creation of an Office of Sustainability and a Sustainability Commission, and $450,000 for a Community Energy Master Plan/Sustainability Plan.
Prince William County Superintendent's Advisory Council on Sustainability (SACS)
November 17th, 2020 | HEAL
During the winter of 2020, HEAL Vice President Tony Bright was chosen to be part of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council on Sustainability. He was honored to be one of the student members of this board. SACS’s collective purpose is to gather and discern information in order to recommend actions to reduce the overall carbon footprint, protect the environment and realize cost savings with emerging clean energy technologies throughout the county.
Within SACS, Tony is closely involved with the Environmental Literacy and County Collaboration committees, working along with many of the environmental administrators, advocators, and teachers working towards a cleaner PWCS. HEAL recruited Mrs. Jeanne Jabara, leading the charge on environmental education as an incredibly inspiring educator and an environmental scientist. We look forward to working together on environmental education/initiatives for K-12 this year.