Guido Dominguez is a 13-year old straight-A student at Nautilus Middle School in Miami Beach, Florida. Before graduating from North Beach Elementary he had been involved with the School Wellness Committee and he was an active member of the Running Club sponsored by the PTA to promote healthy initiatives among students. Guido is also a competitive swimmer who loves Open Water Competitions and is proud to have swum his first 4K at just 10 years old. He is an avid runner as well and has recently discovered his passion for Triathlon after being part of a Relay Team that placed 5th at the Miami Nautica 2013. In addition to athletics, Guido loves math and science and would like to be a theoretical physicist when he grows up.
Guido spoke up for water availability at his middle school after realizing water was not included as part of the reimbursable meal. Guido has implemented the Alliance’s empowerME4Life curriculum with 3rd graders attending the afterschool program at North Beach. He also worked to get his school wellness council reinstated. He was asked to co-present with Reed Alexander, Alliance champion and star of Nickelodeon’s iCarly, at Melrose Elementary School,
The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation featured Guido’s commitment towards healthy living in the book “A Year of Living Well.” Guido was honored to be part of a discussion panel at the Alliance’s Healthy School Program Forum where he had the opportunity to meet President Clinton and let him know he was his inspiration to fight childhood obesity.
What motivated you to join the Youth Advisory Board?
North Beach Elementary School was a recipient of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Silver Award and being a member of the Wellness Committee and running club I was lucky enough to be chosen by my P.E. Coach to attend a speech by President Clinton last January in Miami. I was shocked when I heard my generation might be the first one to die younger than our parents but I was motivated by the fact we can take action and make sure that does not happen.
What barriers do youth face when trying to live a healthy lifestyle?
A barrier youth face when trying to live a healthy lifestyle is the lack of healthy lunches available at school or when kids bring lunch from home. Most parents do not have the time or money to spend to prepare a healthy lunch and students end up with no nutritional food. If kids decide to buy lunch at the cafeteria, public schools face the fact that they only get $1.25 to feed each student and more than half of that goes to pay labor. I would not say that fifty cents allows schools to make healthy choices while feeding students. My former school, inspired by the P.E. Coach, got a grant and the PTA runs a salad bar on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It was a great success and a lot of kids are choosing to have salads on those days.
Why is it important that youth have a voice in the fight against childhood obesity?
I think it is important that youth have a voice in the fight against childhood obesity because we are the future and we do not want to live in a world dealing with diabetes and other medical and psychological issues like cardiovascular diseases, bone and joint problems, and low self-esteem.
Kids tend to listen to their peers, and I believe we have better chances to be heard and spread awareness. Before you know it, many other kids will join us in our fight and we will make a big impact.
What difference do you hope to make during your time on the Youth Advisory Board?
I hope to go around my community educating kids about adopting healthy habits: eating healthier food, exercising more and preventing childhood obesity.