MINGO, WV (WVNS) – The American Heart Association (AHA), selected a WV stroke survivor to represent the 2022-2023 class of Youth Heart Ambassadors from among applicants across the entire U.S.

Hillary Gore, a junior at Mingo Central High School, has been selected for the volunteer role. She is the first student from West Virginia to ever have the honor of being a National Youth Heart Ambassador. Hillary suffered a stroke at birth and has been working toward helping her community since.

The Youth Heart Ambassadors serve for one year as a volunteer of the American Heart Association. They help the organization to be a force for healthier lives for all.

The ambassador position gives youth a voice to share the impact cardiovascular disease has had on their life. The American Heart Association accepted nominations from youth all across the U.S. who have been affected by heart disease or stroke either through a personal diagnosis or the diagnosis of a loved one.

“Being the National ambassador for the American Heart Association honestly made my year. Since I was in kindergarten, I’ve been helping them fundraise to help save lives like mine. I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to spread the importance of heart health not only in my state, but nationally as well.”

Hillary Gore, National Ambassador for the American Heart Association

The Youth Heart Ambassadors work with the American Heart Association’s in-school programs, Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge.

With roots in physical activity, Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge have expanded beyond the gym to meet the needs of today’s youth and educators. Science has proven the strong connection between physical and mental health, so both programs’ curriculums help prepare youth for success by supporting their physical and emotional well-being.

“I am very excited to take the journey with Hillary in promoting Heart Health Education and awareness through our Kids Heart and American Heart Challenges this year. She will be an incredible role model for so many on how to live a heart healthy life! Helping her integrate her ideas to bring even more awareness to her community and to the schools is going to be inspiring! We both are ready to help everyone make the change to living healthier lives!”

Wendy Bradley, Youth Markets Director for the American Heart Association

Schools interested in participating in the Kids Heart Challenge or the American Heart Challenge can register now for next school year. Registering will give schools expanded curriculum resources for both classrooms and in-home learning environments. To learn more about our school programs please visit www.heart.org/schools. More information can also be found online at heart.org/youthambassadors.