Alejandro GuadarramaDownload V-Card
Whether rubbing elbows with Gov. Pat Quinn (who signed a pledge at the Illinois State Fair to support Fuel Up to Play 60) or organizing a tailgate party with parent volunteers to celebrate football season with healthy foods — Alejandro Guadarrama is meeting new people and participating in new activities that are honing his leadership skills as a Fuel Up to Play ambassador.
An eighth grader at Miguel Juarez Middle School, Waukegan, Ill., Alejandro made fast friends at the Fuel Up to Play 60 National Summit in Washington, D.C.— sharing ideas, having a good time, and coming away with plans for the future. He plans to adapt an idea he heard from another attendee for his own school: sell low-fat dairy smoothies to the student body to help raise additional funds for Fuel Up to Play 60 activities.
After being encouraged to sign up as a Fuel Up to Play 60 ambassador by his program advisor, Ray Areco (who was 2011 program advisor of the year in Illinois), Alejandro helped with a school menu makeover — working to add fruits and vegetables that kids loved and were in season to the school lunch menu and adding a make-your-own-sandwich cart that included whole grain breads, meats, cheeses, and other healthy toppings.
He also helped execute a fitness day at Miguel Juarez Middle School: An entire day was dedicated to fitness, including handing out pedometers to students and working to show kids they could have fun while doing their daily physical activity.
Now he wants to help children become healthy adults. As ambassador, he plans to continue to seek out more good, healthy food options for the cafeteria so kids will eat better. And he wants to encourage them to exercise more and have a fun. To that end, he is helping to schedule an assembly to draw attention to the Fuel Up to Play 60 program at his school.
At home, Alejandro stays active by playing basketball, riding his bike, playing soccer and playing with his dog. To fuel all that activity, he enjoys his mom’s fruit salad, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes and, his favorite dairy food: chocolate milk!