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State Honoree

Eleanor Sherman

California

is the co-founder of a body image and eating disorders program at her school. Ellie first became aware of eating disorders while preparing a research paper for her Social Issues class. “Though I have never had an eating disorder, like most teenage girls, I have never been completely happy with the appearance of my body,” said Ellie. “I feel that everyone should feel good about who they are, and I really wanted to help others realize what was special about them.” Working with an organization called Body Positive, Ellie launched her program in 1997. After the first year, Ellie helped create a task force on eating disorders that worked to expand her program to other area schools. Ellie has also applied for grant money, which has funded eight support groups, a curriculum, and supported speaking engagements. The program has received attention in local news media, and has become a resource for others in the community. Ellie plans on taking the program with her to her college campus next year. “This is an issue I will be involved with for the rest of my life, because the problem is not just a phase,” Ellie said. “We have had issues with body image for all of history, and it is time to stop it and accept ourselves.”