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Youth Advocate Awarded for Making Heart Health a Priority for Students

Sometimes the best in-school policies come from the students who would benefit most from them. Read on to learn how one youth advocate is working to make sure all young people have stronger, healthier hearts.


When it comes to cardiovascular health, Arkansas native Abby Davis wears her heart on her sleeve.

The University of Arkansas freshman from Little Rock just received the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Youth Advocacy Award for her efforts to make physical education more accessible to K-12 students and for urging legislators to get tougher on tobacco laws designed to prevent youth from starting to smoke.

“We want schools to provide a yearly physical education assessment to help parents know what is going on,” Davis said in a video promoting the AHA’s physical education assessment policy. “Our goal is to provide a system where the parents and the school work together to make sure that our kids are growing into healthy adults.”

It’s a mission Abby’s been passionate about since she lost her grandfather to heart disease back in 2017.

“I miss him every day, but his memory lives on in me,” Davis wrote for AHA’s You’re the Cure network. “He inspired me to work hard, educate others on the importance of keeping our hearts healthy, truly care for others, and live each day with a sense of purpose. I know that the work I am doing with the AHA is making my Pap so very proud, and everything I do is to honor his memory and make a difference in my community,”

Davis was the youngest person to receive an award during the 2019 You’re the Cure Hero’s Awards in Washington D.C. AHA also honored three other advocates at the awards ceremony.

Read more about Davis’ acknowledgement in the headlines: