CHICAGO, August 16, 2023 - An Oregon, Illinois preschooler has been selected by the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, to serve as a volunteer Community Youth Heart Ambassador for the 2023-2024 school year. Aislynn Skinner 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 for better mental and physical well-being.
The American Heart Association accepted nominations from young people who have been affected by heart disease or stroke. These Youth Ambassadors have either had a personal diagnosis, witnessed the diagnosis of a loved one, or made a personal lifestyle change to better their heart health and the health of their loved ones.
Before she was born, Aislynn was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot. She underwent heart surgery to insert a conduit at six days old and spent two weeks in the hospital. Today, Aislynn lives a normal life as a 4-year-old with no restrictions, though she will need to have at least one other open-heart surgery around age six or seven.
“She is a bright, happy, wonderful little girl,” said Aislynn’s mother Jessica Skinner.
Youth Heart Ambassadors serve a one-year commitment as a volunteer of the American Heart Association helping 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.
“To be so incredibly young, what Aislynn has gone through and overcome is beyond inspiring,” said Christine Taylor, development director of school engagement at the American Heart Association. “Her resilience will be a driving force for our efforts to improve health outcomes in youth throughout the Midwest region.”
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 participating in either Kids Heart Challenge™ or American Heart Challenge™ receive expanded curriculum resources for both classrooms and in-home learning environments. Interested schools can register now for next school year. To learn more about our school programs please visit www.www.heart.org/getstarted. More information can be found online at 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, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.