CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - According to data from the University of Virginia, the Appalachia region of Virginia has an overwhelming amount of people facing obesity and diabetes.

On Tuesday, March 19, students from UVA and area high schools put their heads together for some winning solutions to tackle this health crisis.

Eight teams of students have been prepping for this day to show off their research and plan to address the health crisis in Appalachia. Presentations kicked off Tuesday morning at Darden Hall at UVA.

The projects were financed by a $10,000 grant from the UVA provost.

A panel of judges graded the teams based on analysis, development, and feasibility.

After some deliberation, one team was deemed the winner and took home a grand prize for its work on tackling mental health to aid other health issues.

“We came up with this idea - an art center, because art therapy is good for mental health,” Christina Shin, a tenth-grade student at Monticello High School, said. “So, it wasn't really we put in a lot of work. It was we were throwing out a ton of ideas and somehow we were able to incorporate them into one big idea that made it all work."

Jonathan Laredo, a first-year UVA student, served as the mentor for the team of Monticello High School girls, and says he was lucky to work with such a great team.

"I hope that this can possibly be used in the real world in some sort of sense, whether it's in West Virginia or maybe in a county close to here or something, because it really is a good idea I believe,” Laredo said. “We worked really hard on it to put it together and it's something that's actually truly feasible."

That group of students took home $500 to push their design forward in hopes of making a difference in the long run.