DALLAS, May 2, 2023 - Students across the country are finding many ways to engage with their local American Heart Association by participating in campaigns focused on advocacy and volunteerism. This year, twenty-two participants in Colorado, Arkansas, Dallas – Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston, and Austin were nominated and selected to run as Teen of Impact candidates for 2023.

The Teen of Impact initiative is an exclusive opportunity for a select group of ambitious teens who want to make a difference and stand out on their college applications. As a Teen of Impact candidate, students gain hands-on experience in fundraising, leadership, business, finance, and wellness, earn community service hours, and receive a letter of recommendation from the American Heart Association’s Executive Leadership. The top candidates also have opportunities for a scholarship.

Teens selected create teams of friends and family who help them compete to earn the most impact points during eight weeks beginning in February. Impact points are earned by fundraising and completing weekly missions that spread awareness about the #1 & #5 killers in our country, heart disease & stroke.

In 2022, the inaugural Teen of Impact Initiative had 25 teens with 344 team members, and they collectively raised $241,606. This year, the 2023 participating Southwest Region teens recruited 208 team members and raised $318,092 in eight weeks, setting a new record.

Several winners were awarded in each of the six markets, leading to one regional winner. The recognition by the American Heart Association, devoted to a world of healthier lives for all, is awarded annually in April. Peyton Bono from Dallas was recently named the 2023 Teen of Impact winner for the city of Dallas, the entire state of Texas, and she is the winner for the Southwest Region. A sort of hat trick for the 17-year-old, Bono earned the awards for leading her team to raise $55,138 and completing many mission-impact activities earning 72,938 points with her team. Peyton hold the new record in the SW Region for the most dollars raised by a Teen of Impact Candidate.

Peyton was born with Tricuspid Atresia, a congenital heart defect. “For years, I was isolated and bitter because of my disability, and I was afraid for the future of my health,” said Peyton. “But, with the American Heart Association, I am harnessing that fear and turning my disability into my strength. Taking part in the Teen of Impact program was personal for me,” said Bono. “I’m incredibly proud of the contributions we’ve made supporting the Teen of Impact mission to wipe out heart disease and stroke and improve the overall health and well-being of people here in Dallas and beyond.”

“We are so grateful to Peyton and all of our nominees for their work elevating the Teen of Impact message, raising critical funds, and supporting our local mission,” said Tonya Bradford, Region Vice President of Development for School Engagement and Youth Market. “While our work is far from finished, we’ve made considerable progress in heart health awareness and look forward to welcoming a new wave of interested teens. With advocates like Peyton and our other Teen of Impact nominees leading the way, our communities are stronger, and our future is brighter.”

The Teen of Impact initiative provides the opportunity for teens to join fellow changemakers and use their voices to make a difference. The American Heart Association is looking for a select group of teen nominees for 2024 with a passion and ability to make a difference. To nominate a Teen of Impact visit www.bit.ly/ahateen


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

For Media Inquiries:

Lindsey Lyons; Lindsey.Lyons@heart.org;


For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and stroke.org