|Geena Ringler, Alliance for a Healthier Generation
youth ambassador (Woodford Sun photo)
“I see a lot of kids at my school every day. They want to be healthier, but they don’t know how, so I’m hoping that when I serve on the board, and even after that, that I show them ways that they can lead a healthier lifestyle,” Ringler told McGary.
The 12-year-old’s life is already full. She peer-tutors children with special needs, teaches special-needs children to swim, runs cross-country, is on the local swim team and enjoys bicycling, McGary reports. She has also led a fundraiser that generated nearly $2,800 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, to honor a friend and classmate who passed away.
She applied for the ambassador position in Febuary, was selected in May and was off in July for training in Utah, where she met the 19 other selected ambassadors, received media and interview training, and consulted with the adult ambassadors to develop goals for her project.
“I didn’t know that it wasn’t just playing video games,” she told McGary, referring to the causes of childhood obesity. “It’s so much more. It’s your economic background and how your parents raise you … and all that kind of stuff.”
Ringler told McGary that childhood obesity is an epidemic and that “it takes a lot of people to help change one person’s lifestyle and I thought that one more person could help make a difference.” (Read more) Kentucky ranks eighth nationally in child obesity.