WASHINGTON, D.C. (KFSM) — A University of Arkansas freshman from Little Rock has been named the Youth Advocate of the Year by the American Heart Association.
Abigail "Abby" Davis was announced as the award winner Wednesday night (Oct. 16) during the Heart Association's 2019 You're the Cure Heroes awards dinner in Washington. The event took place in conjunction with the association's "You're the Cure on the Hill" lobby day.
“Abby has proven age makes no difference when it comes to advocating for something you are passionate about. Over the past three years, we have watched Abby’s confidence grow as she has gone from speaking to a classroom of first graders to a crowded Capitol rotunda with both grace and confidence,” said American Heart Association Grassroots Manager Allison Hogue.
Davis lost her grandfather to heart disease in 2017 and said his loss spurred her desire to volunteer.
“I miss him every day, but his memory lives on in me. He inspired me to work hard, educate others on the importance of keeping our hearts healthy, truly care for others, and live each day with a sense of purpose. I know that the work I am doing with the AHA is making my Pap so very proud, and everything I do is to honor his memory and make a difference in my community,” said Davis in the first of what has become a monthly blog post she writes for the Heart Association’s You’re the Cure network.
Davis is taking part in lobbying activities in Washington this week with patients, survivors and other volunteers to encourage representatives to "pave the path forward" for policies that lead to healthier lives.
Davis testified in a legislative committee at the Arkansas State Capitol and encouraged lawmakers to take action by increasing the minimum age for tobacco sales to 21. The legislation passed and went into effect last month.
The American Heart Association is the world's leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health.