Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Good news? We've got it!

I hear it all the time, the classic "why is there never good news?"

My answer: Actually, we report good news all the time. For me, it has been my sole duty as a reporter these last few months to discover inspiring stories of youth.

My latest good news find - Olwyn Bartis, a 10-year-old fifth-grader from St. Patrick Catholic School.

Olwyn was one of about 200 students involved in a joint garden project with St. Patrick Catholic and Brookstone Schools. The farm-to-fork experience helped teach children how to plant, grow and harvest a garden, along with the importance of eating fresh produce.

On a garden harvest day in September, many of the kids told me they learned about nutrition, most saying they cut back of the amount of candy they consume.

But for Olwyn, the concept of eating healthy is something she must stress in her life. She has diabetes.

“I started to eat healthier after (the garden) because I wanted to grow up to be healthier,” she said. “If I eat too much sugar, (my blood sugar) can get really high. I have sweets, but in my lunch I don’t have a gazillion treats in there, they’re occasionally.”

She said the most rewarding experience about working in the garden was getting to enjoy the produce she grew in new, tasty dishes.

"It felt (more) fun because you actually got to raise the plants yourself and you didn’t have someone raising them for you," Olwyn said. "And they tasted better because they weren’t bunched in with a bunch of other plants."

Today, Olwyn is taking the skills she learned from gardening at school and helping her family implement the concept at home.

"My family wanted to start a garden, so I gave them some tips on how to do that," she said. "They are just getting started and organizing."

Olwyn and some of her classmates will share the secrets of creating a successful garden in an upcoming issue of Young Achievers.

So keep searching for good news. There's plenty to be found in the Young Achievers section!

Have someone in mind who fits the Young Achievers mold? Email me at, or call 704-358-6043.