YH4L Junior Board
Young Hearts working to save Young Hearts
The YH4L Junior Board was created in 2014, for local teens to become involved in the mission of the Young Hearts for Life® program.The board is made up of 75 students from 15 area schools. Activities range from education about Sudden Cardiac Death, assisting in registration of students, attending area heart screenings, making educational videos for high schools, and fundraising for ECGs for students.
The Executive Board meets the second Sunday of each month at 6:00 pm. The entire Junior Board meets immediately following the Executive Board at 6:30 pm. Meetings consist of education, service, and planning for future events.
Please see bottom of page for the exciting things the Junior Board has been doing.
Kathy Marek – Sarah Eisenberg – Bridget Hatch – Aly Wozniak
Meet Our 2021-2022 Executive Junior Board
Emma Gerhard, Co President
My name is Emma Gerhard, and I am a junior at Benet Academy. This is my third year on the Junior Board and my second year as an Executive Board Member. At Benet, I am part of the Tennis Team and Medical Club. I am so excited to be a part of an organization that promotes such important, life-saving work in the community.
Jonathan Barker, Co President
My name is Jonathan Barker and I am a senior at Metea Valley High School, where I am active in speech, student government, research, and music. After graduating, I plan to pursue a path in medicine and research in neuroscience or cardiology. This is my third year on the Junior Board. I ran in the 5K fundraiser as a freshman and was in awe of the dedication and leadership I saw in the Junior Board members. Despite a blizzard, they made it happen! Few programs offer an opportunity to serve in a meaningful way while educating our communities in literal life-saving screening measures. I enjoy fundraising, educating, and volunteering with YH4L. I look forward to the good we can accomplish this year!
Emma Shannon, Co-Vice President
My name is Emma Shannon and I am a senior at Benet Academy. This is my 4th year being a part of the Junior Board, and this year I am a Co-Vice President. Outside of YH4L, I am a part of the Benet Cross Country and Track teams and am involved in Yearbook, Student Government, and Best Buddies. I’m excited to work with the Junior Board to educate and screen as many students in the area as possible!
John Challenger, Co-Vice President
My name is John Challenger, and I’m a senior at Benet Academy. This is my fourth year on the YH4L junior board. At Benet, I’m on the basketball and track teams, and I participate in Best Buddies. I’m looking forward to a great year of educating, screening, and fundraising for YH4L!
Holly Anderson, Secretary
My name is Holly Anderson and I am a senior at Benet Academy. I have been a member of the Junior board for three years and I am on the executive board as the Secretary this year. At Benet, I run cross country and track and am involved in a couple different clubs including Yearbook, Best Buddies, Diversity Leadership Counsel, and Student Government. I am interested in studying engineering in college. I am super excited to help with another great year of YH4L!
Dominic Ullmer, Vice-President Service Projects
My name is Dominic Ullmer, and I am a senior at Benet Academy. I’ve been a varsity runner for cross country and track since my freshman year. I’ve been a member of the board for 3 years, and this is my first year as a member of the Executive Board. I’m excited to educate and screen as many people as we can this year. I’m looking forward to studying computer science in college.
What has the Junior Board been doing?
COVID-19 proved to make 2020-2021 a challenging year. All Junior board meetings were done by zoom. The Junior board worked hard to support the medical community in their efforts to fight COVID.
YH4L Junior Board worked hard to raise funds to buy meals for frontline workers during Covid-19. Local hospitals have supported YH4L these past years in sponsoring some of our screenings. It was our turn to now support them. Over 500 meals were purchased from local restaurants by our Junior Board. Area restaurants that worked with YH4L are: Baldinelli Hinsdale, Aurellio (OBT/Naperville), Citrus Diner, Home Run Inn, Jason Deli, and The Patio.
COVID-19 did not stop this years board from hosting their Annual Run. This year the run was done remotely with everyone doing their own run/walk. It was a successful event.
Team Building Exercise organized and lead by Grace S. Co-President. Holding Team Building exercises allowed the members to get to know each other better.
Educational talks on what conditions are identified with an ECG and how they are treated. Dr. Marek presented the conditions which are found with an ECG while Junior Board members who have these conditions, spoke to the group about how their lives have been affected.
Worked with YH4L Staff to prepare for the 250,000 Celebration! The Junior Board members sent letters and solicited sponsors/donors for the big celebration. Unfortunately, Covid-19 did not allow us to host this event.
Hosted 2019-2020 AED Contest. Thanks to just1mike, the Junior Board was able to present 2 schools with AEDs this year. First place went to St. Laurence HS. Second place went to Montini HS.
Support our Sponsors during Covid-19. Junior Board raised funds to supply over 500 meals to first responders. YH4L felt it was to important to support our sponsors in their time of need. Our turn to give back.
Deeds for Peds. Program set up by Executive Board Member, Kelly Andrews. This program was set up to support children who were hospitalized. Parents would be given a break while responsible young adults played games or read to their child.
August 2018: Set up sponsorship of NEW AED contest for YH4L schools Using funds from last years run, board voted to sponsor a new AED program for YH4L. All schools screened by YH4L has an opportunity to win a FREE AED.
October 2018: Learn the “why and how” of EKGs. The Junior Board invited Team Leaders from the program to teach them the why and how of doing an EKG. Everyone saw how easy it was to perform this life saving test.
Sponsored Screening at Christ the King in Chicago
Sponsored and Volunteered for screening at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls
April 14th, 2019: 4th Annual YH4L Junior Board 5K Run/Walk
5K run to raise funds to support screenings and raise awareness in our community about Sudden Death and teens. Thank you to all of our generous donors. To see those who supported us along with some great pictures and race times. For running times, sponsor, and pictures click here.
September 2017: Purchased for program Part of the mission for YH4L is educating the community about what sudden cardiac death is and how to prevent it. The program is fortunate to have volunteers who will help with community presentations. Prior to this, everyone was expected to use their personal computers which caused a number of logistic issues. The Junior Board purchased 2 computers for the program to use in presentations and research.
April 8th, 2018: 3rd Annual YH4L Junior Board 5K Run/Walk
5K run to raise funds to support screenings and raise awareness in our community about Sudden Death and teens. Thank you to all of our generous donors. To see those who supported us along with some great pictures and race times. For running times, sponsor, and pictures, click here.
Sponsored Screening: November 4, 2016 – Sponsored screening for all students at Christ the King High School in Chicago. Junior Board members assisted in data entry for the event.
Purchased ECG Machine: With funds raised from last years 5K event, the Junior Board voted to support 2 screenings as well as purchase a new ECG machine for the program.
April 2017: YH5K – 5K run to raise funds to support screenings and raise awareness in our community about Sudden Death and teens. Thank you to all of our generous donors. To see those who supported us along with some great pictures and race times, click here.
National Meeting presentation: Junior Board member finished research with Dr. Marek and presented study at American College of Cardiology meeting and American Medical Society of Sports Medicine meeting.
Sponsored and worked screening: May 20th, 2017 Junior Board sponsored screening at Mercy Home for boys and Girls in Chicago. Many of the Junior Board members were able to assist in the screening.
April 2016: YH5K – 5K run to raise funds to support screenings and raise awareness in our community about Sudden Death and teens. Thank you to all of our generous donors. To see those who supported us along with some great pictures, click here.
May 2016: Purchased a new EKG Machine to be used at screenings.
Nov 2016 Screening – Using some of the funds which were raised last year, we will be sponsoring a free screening for all the students at Christ the King High School in Chicago.
Research Study: Research projects done with Dr. Marek for national meetings.