When the Muskegon Community College campus suddenly shifted to online classes in March to practice social distancing, the change was particularly challenging to Jason Shaughnessey, who teaches health, physical education and recreation (HPER) courses.
“I began to look for creative ways to keep my students active,” explained Shaughnessey, who chairs the HPER Department at MCC. “Rachel Fawcett, the former fitness manager at Lakeshore Fitness Center, turned me on to the ZP Challenge. “
The ZP Challenge is predicated on the belief that positive change doesn’t have to be intimidating or overwhelming. Participants identify their personal goals, make small changes and better choices for 21 days total, keep track and submit their stories for a chance to win cash money.
Shaughnessey assigned the ZP challenge to 35 MCC students in his adapted weight training sections.
“Students tracked lifestyle choices for 21 days using the ZP app,” he said. “The process was simple. Every time the students made a positive choice, they would hit a button on the app. There were four buttons: Fit, Food, Family, and Money. At the conclusion of the 21-day challenge, students were asked to reflect on the experience. Reflections were sent to the ZP team for judging.”
Three MCC students – Brenden Postema, Katrina Smith Rachel Ramont – were notified June 4 via a Zoom call that each had won a $1,000 check.
Muskegon County residents were eligible to compete in the ZP Challenge during March, April and May. Five $1,000 awards were presented each month. The 15 winners are eligible for one of three grand champions cash awards – $15,000, $10,000 or $5,000. Those will be announced in conjunction with the 2020 Mercy Health Seaway Run, which is being conducted virtually this year, on June 27.
Based in Bellevue, WA, the ZP Group seeks to improve the well-being of individuals, corporations and communities. ZP works with human resource professionals and community leaders to design programs that educate and inspire people to make better choices in the areas of fitness, food, finances and family. The ZP app and subsequent cash prizes motive participants to make better choice for 21 days.