The "Fuel Up to Play 60" program is a familiar one for fans of the National Football League nowadays, but for a growing number of kids throughout the country, it's so much more than just a wellness initiative.
It's a way of life.
That's certainly the case for Margaret and Victor, two middle schoolers who earned roles as State Student Fuel Up to Play 60 Ambassadors for their respective states and schools this year.
Both Margaret and Victor have been heavily involved in advocating for the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, which promotes a healthy lifestyle, and their efforts were rewarded on Sunday as Kansas City Chiefs Chairman & CEO Clark Hunt presented the two young leaders with custom jerseys on the Arrowhead Stadium grass.
It was certainly a moment to remember.
"Talking to their program advisors, we get to hear all about the different things that they do in their schools, so for them to be recognized here today was a wonderful experience," said Robyn Stuewe, Wellness Director for the Midwest Dairy Council, which facilitates the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. "I'm so excited for all of the opportunities that they have through the program."
It's something that both young adults have embraced whole-heartedly.
"It's showed me how important being active is," said Victor, who represents Marshall Middle School in Wichita. "It's had a huge impact on me, and it's given me so much knowledge about how to eat, how to be healthy and how to live every day."
"I just love being active and getting involved with my school, so I just thought it was a perfect opportunity for me," added Margaret, who represents Rockwood South Middle School in St. Louis. "I love the program - it's given me so many opportunities - and I'm so grateful that I've gotten to do it. I just love it."
And while healthy eating and physical activity are at the program's core, Fuel Up to Play 60 is just as much about building lifelong skills than anything else. In fact, Ambassadors are invited to a national summit every summer to meet other like-minded students and learn how to effectively work with others.
"It's given me so many leadership and communication skills," Margaret said. "We learned so many different things at the summit this year, which of course included facts about being healthy, staying healthy and how you can bring it back into your school, but the leadership skills we learned were incredible, too. It showed us how one school can really make a big difference."
"We talk about healthy eating and being physically active first of all, but the leadership and the community aspect of bringing together your school for a cause is life-changing for these students," Stuewe added. "[Fuel Up to Play 60] is helping to connect young leaders across the country, and these are skills they'll use as adults."
And for Margaret and Victor, their efforts – which have displayed a certain maturity beyond their years - earned them an afternoon at Arrowhead that they won't soon forget.
To learn more about the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, click here.