Guest Blogger: Erin Bennett, Idaho Government Relations Director
On January 29, 2015 the American Heart Association created a buzz in the Idaho State Capitol with the 5th Annual Youth Lobby Day. The AHA Youth Lobby day brings together student advocates with legislators to discuss what can be done at the local level to improve heart health, and how we can work with younger audiences to focus on prevention efforts.
With approximately 40 students and volunteers, youth advocates were able to meet with over 25 legislators at the Capitol, focusing on physical education standards and requirements in school, as well as introducing legislators to new ideas regarding nutrition and Smart Snacks in schools. During a breakfast reception student lobbyists taught legislators, capitol staff, and visitors easy physical activities they could do throughout the day to help improve their own heart health, as well as teaching them hands-only CPR.
The students were also given recognition on the floor of the Idaho House of Representatives, for their commitment to the American Heart Association and dedication to improving health and reducing risk of heart disease and stroke. Youth advocates were able to have great discussions with many legislators and helped build support for AHA priorities in Idaho. The students were well received and provided insight to many legislators new to the Capitol as well. The 5th Annual Youth Lobby Day at the Idaho Capitol was a great event that helped further the mission of the AHA thanks to the amazing students and fantastic volunteers!