UCLA student honored at White House for urging young people to lead active lives
By Claudia Luther March 22, 2012 Category: Student Affairs
UCLA student Cameron Hajialiakbar is among 10 people being honored today at a White House ceremony as "Champions of Change'' for their work to inspire and empower the nation's youth to lead active, healthy lives.
Hajialiakbar, a third-year student majoring in communications studies with plans to attend law school, is the founder and president of UCLA's chapter of the Coaching Corps. The group trains volunteer coaches and places them in after-school programs serving boys and girls in low-income communities in an attempt to bridge the gap between those who have access to quality youth sports programs and those who don't.
"Our laser focus is on increasing the physical, emotional and social health for the kids who need it most," Hajialiakbar said. "We spend our afternoons orchestrating drills and practices that get kids out of their seats and into the sun with bodies moving and hearts pumping."
In a statement from the White House, first lady Michelle Obama said she was "proud that leaders like these have found new and exciting ways to help our kids get up and moving."
She added: "If we're going to end our nation's epidemic of childhood obesity, we need to make sure our kids get the physical activity and nutritious foods they need to grow up healthy and strong. These leaders have done just that, and that's what makes them true champions for their communities and our country.''