LOUISVILLE, Kentucky, August 24, 2023 - A junior at Sacred Heart Academy has been selected by the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, to serve as the Kentucky Youth Heart Ambassador for the 2023-2024 school year. Louisville native Alexis Loveless, 16, will work closely with the American Heart Association’s in-school programs, Kids Heart Challenge™ and American Heart Challenge™ to actively and passionately champion other children to establish healthy habits to better mental and physical well-being.
After collapsing at school at the age of 13, Loveless was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome and received an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator and pacemaker. She has since become involved as a volunteer with the American Heart Association and has made it her mission for all schools to have Cardiac Emergency Response Plans in place, which includes providing CPR training for staff and having an AED on-site.
“At first I was told I could never dance again, which was like telling me to stop breathing,” Alexis said. “But now, I am back at dance and living my best life. I have to take care of myself by getting enough sleep, avoiding dehydration, and keeping my doctor appointments, but otherwise, I’m a pretty normal teen. I understand how serious my condition is and how fortunate I am to have been diagnosed and treated before it was too late, so I try to be a voice for those who did not get a second chance like me.”
Youth Heart Ambassadors serve a one-year commitment as a volunteer of the American Heart Association assisting the organization to be a relentless force for healthier lives for all. The position gives youth a voice to encourage, advocate and underscore the need to raise critical funding as they share the impact cardiovascular disease has had on their life.
“Alexis has been a tremendous advocate for heart locally, and we are thrilled to have her represent the entire state as this year’s Kentucky Youth Heart Ambassador,” said Ashley Sokoler, American Heart Association Executive Director in Kentuckiana and Western Kentucky. “She has an incredible story to share, and we are so excited to see the impact she will make in schools across the Commonwealth.”
Rooted in physical activity, Kids Heart Challenge™ and American Heart Challenge™ are service-learning programs that teach students how to improve their overall health while doing good for the health of others. Through interactive curriculums and various online challenges, participating students get active and have fun while raising funds and awareness for congenital heart defects, nutrition security, CPR training, mental well-being and more. These collective efforts help further the American Heart Association’s mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.
Schools interested in participating in either Kids Heart Challenge™ or American Heart Challenge™ receive expanded curriculum resources for both classrooms and in-home learning environments can register now for next school year. To learn more about our school programs please visit www.heart.org/schools. More information can be found online, heart.org/youthambassadors.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health, and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, X , or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.