Weston teenager is leading the charge for healthier habits for kids nationwide

Daniel Muller

Daniel Muller

Daniel Muller, 17, of Weston, along with 20 other young people, has been selected to serve on the 2012-13 Youth Advisory Board for the Alliance for A Healthier Generation, an organization founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation.

Daniel is entering his second year of service on the board.

The Alliance for A Healthier Generation Youth Advisory Board is one of the only youth-led advisory groups in the country focused on childhood obesity issues. With a belief that young people play a crucial role in engaging and educating their peers and in creating healthier communities, the alliance relies on the Youth Advisory Board to advise the organization on how best to inspire young people to make healthy behavior changes and become leaders and advocates for healthy eating and physical activity.

“We believe that listening to youth perspective and empowering them to make a difference is critical in helping combat this public health crisis,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO of the Alliance for A Healthier Generation. “The alliance is committed to supporting the amazing work of our Youth Advisory Board and showcasing the powerful impact youth can have to inspire healthy living in their schools and communities.”

In addition to their role as advisers and thought-leaders on childhood obesity issues, a cornerstone of the Youth Advisory Board is its commitment to service-learning. Board members are responsible for initiating healthy changes in their own neighborhoods and school districts by engaging in service-learning programs in their communities.

As a Youth Advisory Board member, Daniel has taught a program in a kindergarten class to empower kids with healthy habits by focusing on the advantages of an active and nutritious lifestyle.

In addition, Daniel has worked with food-service providers to improve the quality of school lunches and encourage kids to make healthier choices.

Since swapping cookies with fruit around cash registers, kids are consuming a noticeably greater quantity of fruits. And, at Weston’s Relay for Life cancer walk, Daniel operated a booth that distributed information about living healthy lifestyles to event participants.

Daniel has also developed his role on the Health and Wellness Committee at his high school by taking part in the Nutrition Subcommittee that facilitates districtwide improvements.

“I was motivated to join the Youth Advisory Board by my desire to lead a healthier lifestyle and to encourage others to do the same,” Daniel said. “Having been nominated to serve on my local Health and Wellness Committee, I decided I wanted to be a voice for youth throughout the wider community. … I feel that many people do not even realize that some of the choices they make today are going to affect the rest of their lives.”

Daniel will be entering the 12th grade at Weston High School. He is actively involved in his community, volunteering weekly at Whittingham Cancer Center and serving for the past three years as his temple youth group’s social action vice president. As vice president, Daniel has organized trips to New York City to provide necessities to the homeless and has incorporated social action into almost every youth group event.

In the coming school year, he will be the group’s president.

Following a nationwide search, the alliance selected a group of youth, ages 8 to 17, from diverse backgrounds to serve on the board. These youth leaders are invited to join the alliance for one year of service based on a combination of factors, including evidence of their passion for living a healthier life and a desire to inspire others to join them.

Other members of the 2012-2013 Youth Advisory Board include:

Rogelio Bejarano,17, Van Nuys, Calif.

Zach Dell, 15, Austin, Texas

Guido Dominguez, 12, Miami Beach, Fla.

Major Dukes, 13, Greensboro, Ga.

Jodi Evans, 9, Bowie, Md.

Akansha Jain, 16, Omaha, Neb.

Danyel Jonnson, 11, Sanosteel Tonatchi, N.M.

Bodhi Lovely, 10, Russellville, Ariz.

Ethan Oro, 14, Menlo Park, Calif.

Joe Bear Ortiz, 15, Conifer, Colo.

Kyle Ortmeier, 17, Faulkton, S.D.

Ashlyn Pinkins, 16, Gretna, La.

Anita Rao, 16, Pearland, Texas

Chloe Rosen, 17, Concord, Mass.

Miranda Rosen, 16, Henderson, Nev.

Bobby Sena, 9, Orlando, Fla.

Sarwat Siddiqui, 16, Staten Island, N.Y.

Katie Stagllano,13, Summerville, S.C.

Mataio Swain, 14, Charlestown, W.Va.

Haile Thomas, 11, Tucson, Ariz.

Visit healthiergeneration.org to learn more about the work of the Alliance’s Youth Advisory Board.

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