MALVERN – Paige Peshina recently received the American Heart Association (AHA) Young Heart Leadership Award for her unwavering commitment to the health of her community.
Peshina, 14, has gone above and beyond to further the mission of the AHA over the past six years by raising awareness and more than $10,000 in funds for life-saving research, advocacy and local programs to fight heart disease and stroke.
The Young Heart Leadership Award is given each year to young people, through high school age, for leadership and exceptional service to the American Heart Association.
“Paige is only 14 and has already been such a driving force to improve the heart health of her peers, not only in her school, but the entire Brown Local School District,” said Adam Parker, local youth markets director for the association.
Peshina, a sophomore at Malvern Middle/High School, began supporting the AHA’s efforts when her elementary school hosted Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart fundraisers. Along with teaching basketball and jump roping skills, the event teaches students how their heart works and raises money to help children with special hearts. Peshina was her school’s top fundraiser every year she participated, raising over $1,000 each time.
“Before Paige got to Malvern Middle/High School, they didn’t participate,” Parker said. “Now, thanks to her dedication and influence, the school hosts a staff versus student basketball game and sells t-shirts. And Paige forgoes her study halls, lunch periods and free time to collect donations and deliver thank-you gifts to fundraiser participants.”
Peshina volunteers in the elementary school each year at the Jump Rope for Heart events.
“This program gives me an opportunity to make a difference and I’m excited to continue to help others,” Peshina stated.
She lives the AHA mission by staying healthy and fit as a champion water-skier and gymnast.
The AHA is the world’s leading voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. For more information, visit heart.org.