Transcript Staff Writer
A Norman teenager has turned her name into a nonprofit agency that encourages the Native Americans to live healthy lifestyles. And her efforts are gaining national attention.
Next month, 14-year-old Caitlin Baker will be inducted into the Billie Jean King International Women's Sports Center in the Sports Museum of America in Manhattan, N.Y., as the only youth Native American nonprofit group. Baker's organization CAITLINB will be featured in the community service exhibit.
Two years ago, Baker decided she wanted to promote the benefits of exercising and healthy eating and target American Indians. Baker, an eighth-grader at All Saints Catholic School, is a member of the Muscogee Creek tribe.
She said her mission is to alert Native American youth on the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including exercise. She partnered with the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic and formed Competitive American Indians Turning Lifestyles Into New Beginnings also known as CAITLINB.
"When I first started, I had all these ideas," Baker said.
She travels to cities in the state and speaks to people of all ages about reducing the rate of diabetes, suicides, drug/alcohol abuse and dropping out of school.
"CAITLINB is about involving other individuals," Baker said.
The teenager said medical studies show the Native American community has a higher risk of developing diabetes. In order to lower her chances of becoming diabetic, Baker said she must stay twice as active as a non-native person.
For the past five years, she has competed as a member of the Sooner Swim Club. Baker said swimming is a year-round sport and recommends it for any child.
"I always try to get kids involved in swimming," she said.
Baker also volunteers at Turtle Camp, a recreation setting for children diagnosed with diabetes in Oklahoma City.
In addition to heading CAITLINB, Baker works with the SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) program to advocate changes to the City of Norman's smoking policies in public parks.
The girl's mother Edith Baker said she is proud of her daughter's success and supports the initiative she's taken.
"Caitlin is very passionate about it," she said. "She gets up there, she can talk, lead a group, and she can talk to 5-year-olds or tribal leaders."
The mother said the teenager has gained respect from all age groups including children.
"I think kids respect her because she is honest with them," she said.
Meghan McCormick 366-3539 firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcript Staff Writer
- Local news
Despite opposition to new school standards, officials say repeal of Common Core ‘unlikely’
Despite continued opposition to new public-school standards, Oklahoma education officials say they are more confident than they were earlier this year that the standards will be fully implemented....
Vice to serve on school board, filed without opposition
Chad Vice will serve as the new Norman Public Schools Board of Education Office No. 4 seat. After the filing period deadline ended at 5 p.m. Wednesday, no one had filed to oppose Vice for Office No. 4. Vice is a former owner and now ...
Jefferson Elementary student finds her beach through Make A Wish Oklahoma
You’d have never know that it was 40-some degrees outside surrounded by sand, beach chairs and smiles at the Make A Wish Oklahoma reveal for nine-year-old Katie Dodson on Wednesday. A large number of friends, family members, classmates and ...
Frigid forecast calls for cancellations
The city’s Holiday Celebration and the United Way victory dinner have been rescheduled due to the inclement weather forecast. The United Way victory luncheon scheduled for Friday has been moved to 11:30 a.m. Dec. 17....
Teens charged with robbery
Three teens were charged conjointly with robbery with a weapon Tuesday in Cleveland County District Court after allegedly robbing two juveniles with a gun in October. Christopher Deandre Bradley, 16, Marcus Larod Jackson, 15, and Tyrek ...
OU gears up for regent meeting, TEDxOU and more
OU Board of Regents to meet Renovation, improvements and an addition to fine arts facilities at the University of Oklahoma are among topics to be discussed by the OU Board of Regents at its regular meeting today....
Norman North Marching Band chosen to represent state
The Norman North High School Marching Band will represent Oklahoma on Saturday in the 2013 Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Honolulu. The band will depart for Hawaii on Thursday and return Monday morning....
Winter weather on its way late tonight
With freezing rain, snow and sleet expected to arrive in Norman soon, it might begin to look a lot like Christmas. National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Curl said the Norman area will begin to see some very light freezing rain or ...
Proposed Corporate Center in TIF would have industrial complex
The economic development component of the University North Park TIF is coming to fruition. City Attorney Jeff Bryant updated the Norman City Council on the status of the TIF on Tuesday. With the previous focus on the retail portion of the ...
Lighting ceremony celebrates traditions
Community members of all beliefs and perspectives came together with song and holiday spirit to ring in the holiday season at the University of Oklahoma’s annual holiday lights celebration Tuesday night in David A. Burr Park. OU President ...
- More Local news Headlines
- Despite opposition to new school standards, officials say repeal of Common Core ‘unlikely’