Morral, OH, Oct. 16, 2023— A fifth grade student at Ridgedale Elementary School has been selected by the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, to serve as a volunteer Youth Heart Ambassador for the 2023-2024 school year. Aiyanna 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.

The American Heart Association accepted nominations from young people who have been affected by heart disease or stroke either through a personal diagnosis, diagnosis of a loved one, or has made a personal lifestyle change, to serve in the Youth Heart Ambassador role. Aiyanna Riley was diagnosed at six years old with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, a condition that can produce overly fast heart rates. Aiyanna has since had two heart procedures and became a participant and supporter of the American Heart Association’s Kid’s Heart Challenge.

“I was six when I found out I had Wolf-Parkinson-White. I had two heart surgeries and now I am feeling A-OK,” says Aiyanna. “I am excited to be a Heart Ambassador to tell everyone that has a heart problem that it is ok, and you will get through it one way or another and have people to support you.”

The 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 for to raise critical funding as they share the impact cardiovascular disease has had on their life.  

 “It’s exciting to see one of our local youth share their voice and experience to help others live heart healthy” said,” said Nancy Tobbe, executive director of the American Heart Association, Central Ohio. “Aiyanna has an incredible story to share, and we are excited to see the impact she will make in our local schools and in schools across the country”.  

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 More information can be found online,



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, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

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