Lutfia C. is working toward her PhD in public health at the University at Buffalo. She was born in Bangladesh but now lives in Buffalo with her mom and brother. She wants to pursue a career as an environmental health educator.
That may explain why, as a PIPs for School Scholar, she found refilling one’s water bottle to be a good action to award. As an environmental health graduate student, she understands the health benefits of drinking water every day and the environmental benefits to using a reusable container rather than purchasing water in single use plastic bottles.
What PIPs helped her to realize is that she wasn’t drinking enough water each day. The PIPs App awarded her for filling up her water bottle three times each day. That’s much more than she had been drinking before.
“I am getting three times the water every day, and that’s really, really great,” Lutfia explains. “It’s really great for my body, for my health. I have a practice and it’s on my mind and I do it automatically.”
“Practice” is fundamental to the PIPs experience, as Lutfia notes. When repeating actions like the ones P4S recognizes and rewards, “you are developing yourself to the next level, so that over a year of practice, after that, you will be automatically doing it. I felt like that.”
She should know. Lutfia tutors low income students for an organization called Practice BC. Practice, as in “practice makes perfect,” is what motivated Karim Abouelnaga to found Practice BC and take on the challenge of changing the inequities he experienced in the public schools he grew up in.
Lutfia was thrilled to be a part of a program that is helping her “develop in two ways,” providing her a pathway to unlock grant support for school while learning the power of positive personal engagement in health and community wellbeing.
“It’s a very, very good program,” Lutfia explains, “as you can learn and practice and engage yourself in many useful actions in your day-to-day life, such as recycling, refilling a water bottle, volunteering, helping your family, getting involved, and taking advice from your advisors, your mentor.”