Our former FUTP60 Massachusetts State Ambassador, Indiana, got the incredible opportunity to be one of five student speakers at the GenYOUth Gala held in New York City this past December. Some of the biggest names in child health and wellness were in attendance, as well as special guests like former President Bill Clinton, NFL Commissioner Robert Goodell, and many others. To learn more about this exciting experience, we asked Indiana a few questions about this time at the Gala.
Why were you asked to speak at the GenYOUth Gala this December?
I was asked to speak at the Gala because of my involvement with a program called NFL FLAG, which is partners with Fuel Up To Play 60 and GenYouth.
Describe your experience at the Gala. What was one of your favorite moments of that night?
The gala was truly an experience I don’t think anyone could forget. So many friendly people all intrigued to hear from you, amazing food, amazing speakers, and a very professional environment made this experience a once in a lifetime trip. One of my favorite moments was when I was speaking, I looked over and saw Former President Bill Clinton and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell watching my speech, which was a big deal for me.
Did you meet any important/cool people?
I met a lot of cool AND important people, such as the CEO of Domino’s, the CEO of Land O’ Lakes, the CEO of Dairy Management, Inc., the President of the National Dairy Council, and so many more people. Also, 4 other kids were at this event with me, speaking about different programs, and we may have come into the Gala not knowing each other at all, but by the end, we had developed such a great friendship that will last for a very long time.
What were some things you talked about in your speech? What was it like to speak in front of such a big crowd?
In my speech, I talked about the importance of NFL FLAG and all the other programs featured (AdCap, Fuel Up to Play 60 En Español, and Fuel Up to Play 60) and the empowerment they offer to youth nationwide. I also talked about how amazing the program is, and how it has impacted my life. It was nerve-racking at first to speak in front of a crowd so big, but as I got into my speech, I got in the groove and realized that it wasn’t so bad at all.
How has attending the GenYOUth Gala impacted your feelings towards the Fuel Up to Play 60 program? How has it impacted you as a person?
My feelings towards Fuel Up To Play 60 have always been that it is one of the best programs available for kids, but this experience has made me realized that it’s a program that touches kids’ lives and turns students like me into great leaders. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without Fuel Up, and I intend to stay with it for as long as I can.
If you could thank those who you have met through Fuel Up to Play 60, who would they be, and why?
There are so many people I could thank. Katie Boyles is in charge of the Student Ambassador program with Fuel Up To Play 60 and is instrumental, along with Custom Ed, in planning the National Student Ambassador Summits. She and the Custom Ed Team are such amazing people and have put an impact on my life forever. Also a big thank you goes to the Youth Council of Fuel Up To Play 60 to make our summit experience so much more enjoyable. Thank you to the NEDFC team for everything they do to raise awareness for youth health and wellness. Thank you to my Program Advisor for introducing me to this incredible program. Thank you to the DairyFarmers of New England for making this program possible. Finally, anyone who I’ve interacted with at all through these programs, I owe the biggest thank you to, for changing me as a person and making me the best me possible.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us about this experience?
The following day, I was given the opportunity to attend the Annual GenYOUth Executive Board Meeting, where I had the chance to interact with some of the biggest names in the food, wellness, health, leadership and nutrition world. They were all so welcoming and knowledgeable, and for that I am so thankful for! I am so blessed to be involved with these programs!