Sisters Alexandra and Chloe Carvajal, who run local health and wellness charity Mission T, hosted a complimentary yoga and nutrition session at Om Sweet Om on March 3.
“I noticed an immediate coming of age mentality about drinking when I first started high school,” said Alexandra, explaining how the charity began. “It’s a thinking in our society being that alcohol plays such a big role in celebrations. You see it in your home, at parties, holidays and in movies and TV shows. I just started thinking that what if people celebrated without alcohol? I thought what if there was a way to connect to young people to get them to think that instead of feeling cool about drinking, they can feel cooler about living their best life, the healthy life?”
While shopping one day, Alexandra noticed popular T-shirts donned sayings that promoted alcohol, such as “Champagne is my happy place” or “Whiskey made me do it.”
“I definitely have a sense of humor, but with the fact that it’s such a serious issue in the U.S., why not try to get some positive messaging out there especially to teens who are at risk particularly for binge drinking since they just don’t know how to control themselves well and can develop a bad pattern,” said Alexandra. “So, I came up with the idea for Mission T to spread the word, to express that words do actually matter and that we can inspire young people and give them the confidence to say ‘no’ more proudly than ever before.”
The goal of Mission T is to have young adults, their parents and friends stand against underage drug and alcohol abuse by wearing words of support—including “Would you like a Mocktail,” “Fizzy Not Dizzy” and more—and raise funds for those less fortunate youths ages 12 to 17, who lack funding and access for mental health counseling, to get the support they need.
The recent March 3 event is one of four events Mission T will have this year.
“We know that teens don’t want to be lectured about not drinking so we want to take a different approach,” said Alexandra. “We want to educate and inspire them through wellness activities that offer stress relief and good feelings. If the community comes out to support these types of events it will help empower teens in the neighborhood to find positive activities to take part in while they support local businesses like yoga studios, gyms, athletic facilities, athleisure apparel stores and juice bars. We will all be safer if we attempt to teach teens to manage their mental health in better ways.”
The event consisted of a brief nutritional discussion provided by Sara Siskind from F The Freshmen 15 that educated teens about healthy food and how alcohol affects the body and metabolism. After the session, the high schoolers and parents participated in a yoga class hosted by Roopali Gupta and taught by Beth Lipset.
“The turnout was amazing,” said Alexandra. “It was apparent that this is a better way to connect with teens about healthy choices. Actions speak louder than words. We sold many T-shirts and it was nice to see people wearing them together.”
For more information or to purchase a T-shirt, visit www.missiontnyc.com.