The American Heart Association is always looking for good volunteers. 

Some of their volunteers get an early start by getting involved in their high school years. 

Younger volunteers build a strong foundation for their futures as well as the future of the American Heart Association.

The Wichita Sweetheart Program is for young ladies who will be sophomores and juniors in high school. 

It’s an opportunity to get training in areas like advocacy and heart-healthy lifestyles while also making positive changes within their peer groups and the community. 

Elizabeth Meister went through the Wichita Sweetheart program in February of last year.  

She says it was such a great experience that this year she’s moving on and being part of the American Heart Association’s Ambassador Program.

“It’s been pretty challenging so far, but it’s not impossible it’s just challenging,” laughs Elizabeth.

She’s taking the leadership skills learned as a Sweetheart and using them to develop her own project, a non-profit called Heart to Heart.

“Everyone has to do a project called a Capstone Project and mine is doing CPR within all the private and parochial schools,” Elizabeth explains.

Kansas state law already requires CPR training for any graduating public high school student.  

Elizabeth says she’s starting by educating students at the high school level and later working her way to the younger students.

“I’m currently working with Collegiate and Kapaun, but I’m also getting Trinity and Independent and any other school that wants to be involved onboard,” says Elizabeth.

It’s building on the foundation she created by being a Sweetheart and Elizabeth says she highly recommends the experience.

“It does feel like it’s a lot of commitment but in the end it’s all worth it because you get to meet wonderful people and have new experiences where you do things you thought you might never have been able to do,” she says.

It’s not too late to be a part of this year’s Wichita Sweetheart Program.  The year’s activities begin September 22.  

If you’re interested in applying you can click here.