Kendra Enright loves talking to kids. Kendra knows that children are learning every day - in their schools, their play, their sports, their homes, etc. That's why Kendra is a staunch advocate for educating kids about living a healthy life. We asked Kendra what drives her passion to help reduce heart disease and stroke and we are proud to share her thoughts and ideas in this month's Advocate Spotlight.
What brought you to be an advocate for the American Heart Association?
Thirty-two years ago, I was “coerced” into taking an EMT class for our local ambulance. At that time, I really knew very little about heart disease or how it affected people. Through my time in EMS and now working for a research company that does a lot of research on heart disease, I have come to realize the importance of educating people about heart disease starting at a very young age and to keep talking about it at all times.
What issues or policies are you most passionate about and why?
I am very passionate about helping people gain knowledge about their risk factors and realizing the importance of how it will affect them and their families.
What is your favorite advocacy memory or experience so far and what made it great?
I have many advocacy memories but a couple of the most recent involved doing a mass Hands Only CPR training at our local school during Heart Month this year with almost 200 middle and high school student learning CPR. It was very impressive to watch all these students doing chest compressions to the beat of Staying Alive. One of the supervising teachers also told the students of her very recent need to use CPR (which she learned at a school in service) to save a family member. Being from a very rural area, this education is so important.
The second memorable experience this year was attending the You’re the Cure rally on Capitol Hill. It was great to be able to meet with my state congressmen & congresswomen and visit with them of the importance of research and strokes. I have come to realize that although I may not always agree with how my congress representatives vote, speaking up will educate them on our issues to hopefully make better decisions on health.
What is your favorite way to be active?
I am the kind of person that likes to get out amongst the people to educate and teach. I love talking to kids. I keep in mind that their brains are forming opinions about so much in this world and if we can educate and influence their ideas in any way they may strive to lead a healthier life. My boss says “people may respond to a different voice or face” when you are trying to get a point across so I try to be that voice or face.
What is your favorite fruit or vegetable and any tips for how you serve or prepare it?
I like almost all foods and I like to try different things! I grew up with high calorie/carbs comfort foods but I keep trying new recipes for veggies and fruits. One of my favorite ones is bacon wrapped asparagus on the grill or just asparagus on the grill drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. I also like to visit stores that have flavored oils and vinegars. It’s amazing how they can enhance the flavors of the vegetables.