Kids and city leaders connect for healthy communities



One of the biggest reasons KC Healthy Kids started the I Am Here Photo Contest five years ago was to teach kids how to speak out for healthy communities, and also to amplify youth voices and make sure city leaders hear their message. At the March 6th Champions for Health youth summit, we hosted our very first Lunch & Listen where city leaders met with winning classrooms to celebrate their win, see their photo contest submissions and listen to their ideas on how to make the community more healthy.

We’re so grateful to all the following mayors, city council members, school board members and KC Healthy Kids board members who took the time to listen to our region’s young advocates.

  • Mayor David Alvey, Kansas City, KS
  • Ms. Lynn Melton, Assistant to Mayor Alvey
  • Commissioner Brian McKiernan, Unified Government of Wyandotte County
  • Mayor Randy Rhoads, Lee’s Summit, MO
  • Councilman Mickey Sandifer, Shawnee, KS
  • Councilman Lee Barnes, Kansas City, MO
  • Ms. Keema McCoy, Legislative Aide to Lee Barnes
  • Ms. Cynthia Jackson, Legislative Aide to Councilwoman Alissia Canady
  • Mr. John Fierro, School Board Kansas City Public Schools
  • Ms. Jennifer Wolfsie, School Board Kansas City Public Schools
  • Ms. Amy Droegemeier, Director of Nutrition Services USD 231 Gardner Edgerton
  • Ms. Ashley Follet, Health Educator Department of Health and Environment Johnson County
  • Ms. Sarah Hartwig, Healthy Communities Wyandotte and KC Healthy Kids Board Member
  • Ms. Jessica Ramirez, Metropolitan Community College and KC Healthy Kids Board Member
  • Mr. Mark Van Blaricum, JD, MHSA Pita for Good and KC Healthy Kids Board Member


In addition, many area mayors took the time to official endorse the great work of the winning classrooms and signed proclamations officially declaring March 6th as Champions for Health Day.

Here’s what the proclamation says:
WHEREAS, the policies and built environments that shape our surroundings also shape our health; and

WHEREAS, our life expectancies are determined by our zip codes; and

WHEREAS, KC Healthy Kids rallies the people in our communities to improve access to affordable fresh food and safe places to walk and play.

WHEREAS, KC Healthy Kids is celebrating the I Am Here Awards and hosting the Champions for Health youth summit on March 6, 2018 at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, and;

WHEREAS, Kansas City area youth have a powerful voice in their communities and truly can influence elected officials and civic leaders to reshape our region for a brighter future;

WHEREAS, the Champions for Health youth summit gives students the skills they need to think critically about their school and community environment, to advocate for others and show exceptional citizenship, to become leaders in making healthy changes in their communities, and to champion improvements that make it easier to be healthy in their schools, neighborhoods and cities; and

WHEREAS, this work has the potential to benefit kids and families for years to come,

NOW, THEREFORE, I do hereby proclaim the March 6, 2018 as:
“Champions for Health Day”
and urge all citizens to celebrate Champions for Health Day and support the efforts of our young people as they reshape our region for a brighter future.

A special thank you to Mayor David Alvey-Kansas City, KS, Mayor Sly James-Kansas City, MO, Mayor Randy Rhoads-Lee’s Summit, MO and Mayor Steve Shute-Gardner, KS for this wonderful honor.


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