In It To Thin It Program Helps Students Get Healthier

Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group truly has a heart for teens who are overweight and need help to overcome the issue. That’s why the medical group started In It To Thin It, an after-school fitness program and competition that helps High Desert high school students on the road to fitness. The rewards-based program is designed to assist local high school students with weight loss, and the adoption of a new fitness lifestyle.

On Saturday, January 25, In It To Thin It contestants had a workout session and party at Holiday Skate in Victorville. Teens were taken through a series of exercises by the program’s fitness director.

About 30 kids from the program came out for the skate party, and some brought other family members to support them, and some even participated in the workouts.

Each student was given a pair of Nike cross-trainer workout shoes. They also received bags of groceries filled with fresh produce, and free haircut certificates.

In It To Thin It is an annual program for local junior and senior high school students who are at least 30 pounds overweight. Attendance, grades, and behavior also figure into the selection process. Over 65 kids are participating this year, from Apple Valley, Silverado, Adelanto, Granite Hills and Victor Valley High Schools.

Over the course of the program, participants lose weight, get fitter, gain self-confidence, become better citizens and students, and experience higher self-worth that follows them into adulthood. There is no cost to students who are chosen for the program.

The goal of the program is to provide motivation to kick start healthy living habits in the lives of local youth using exercise. It’s a positive step forward for the community.

Teens work out with qualified trainers three days per week, with one-hour sessions each day. Qualified trainers and complete programs are provided, including education on nutrition and healthy lifestyles.

There will be one “big” winner from each of the five participating high schools. The current session began in October 2013 and will finish up this coming April. Individual and team awards will be presented at a special ceremony to be held on May 18, during It’s A Gas to Go to Class, at the Victorville Fairgrounds.

Heritage’s Fitness Director George Mangrum, MA, says of the program, “I wish that the In It to Thin It program had been available when I was a senior in high school. I could have avoided a lot of unnecessary negative comments from others, low self-esteem, and feelings of depression.”

There is a lot is at stake, and HMG takes this very seriously. If you or anyone you know is a junior or senior in high school, is really overweight and needs some help, Heritage is there for you.

If you are a student interested in the In It To Thin It program, have your school contact George Mangum at Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group at (760) 245-4747, or visit

Business are encouraged to become corporate sponsors of this program that helps students gain a healthier lifestyle and brighter future. Some of the current sponsors include Pacific Bancorp, RB Enterprises (Amway), Assistance League, Victorville Motors, RadNet, among others. For information on becoming a sponsor, please call, (760) 245-4747, ext 498.

Want to help? The Thin It Fund is a great community partner. In order to achieve it’s goals, it needs community support.  As a fund with the High Desert Community Foundation (HDCF), people can make tax-deductible financial contributions. Make checks payable to HDCF, with “HHVMG THIN IT” in the memo section and mail to: HDCF, PO Box 2028, Apple Valley, CA 92307. Online donations using credit card or Paypal can be made at

Heritage representatives overseeing the program include CEO Merlin Aalborg, Steve Orr, George Mangrum, Kelly Bell, Lindy de la Hoya and Cece Flora. They can be reached by calling (760) 245-7474.

PHOTO: It was great to see the looks on the students’ faces when they received their brand new work out shoes!


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