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Public high school students participate in Be Body Positive Philly (Photo from Christina Miranda).

The Body Empowerment Project — founded by Penn graduates — will celebrate its first year of programming with an event on April 28.

2021 College graduates Christina Miranda and Amanda Moreno co-founded Body Empowerment Project — a nonprofit organization focused on youth body positivity and eating disorder prevention — after being named recipients of the 2021 President’s Engagement Prize last year.

Penn awarded the duo with the President's Engagement Prize for piloting Be Body Positive Philly — a part of their project that focuses on eating disorder prevention in middle schools and high schools around Philadelphia by using a body-positive curriculum.   

The President’s Engagement Prize provides $100,000 to the project and a $50,000 living stipend to the project members. According to Miranda, the prize helped Be Body Positive Philly expand into the Body Empowerment Project umbrella organization and add more members to the team.

The prize also allows Be Body Positive Philly to be of no cost to the participating schools.

Be Body Positive Philly started off as a virtual program at two schools and has now expanded to eight Philadelphia public schools with over 300 students, Miranda said.

Be Body Positive Penn — a Student Activities Council-recognized organization started in 2021 — also falls under the Body Empowerment Project umbrella.

The club also has a fundraising initiative for preventive services within Body Empowerment Project and Project HEAL, an eating disorder awareness club that Miranda and Moreno were involved with during their time at Penn, as well as College junior Sophia Glinski and College junior Penn Audrey Singer.

“The Penn chapter allows for a curriculum focused on college students,” Singer, co-director of Be Body Positive Penn said.

The organization has developed a nine-week body acceptance program for Penn students and also hosts community-building events, Glinski, current co-director of Be Body Positive Penn said.

Additionally, many of the Be Body Positive Penn participants complete the nine-week college student program and then go on to become facilitators of the curriculum for the Philadelphia public school students, according to Glinski.

As alumni, Miranda and Moreno have continued to offer guidance and mentorship to Be Body Positive Penn, which has helped expand their reach in the Penn community, Singer said.

“The Body Empowerment Project would not be possible without the support of the Engagement Prize and Penn community,” Miranda said.

Thursday's event will feature speeches from Miranda and Moreno as well as other sponsors, students, and volunteers. All proceeds from the event will go to Be Body Positive Philly.