Students, teachers, and volunteers get involved in the Young Hearts for Life heart screenings


Chesney Wargo

Last Thursday, students and volunteers participated in the Young Hearts for Life heart screening program during all gym classes. 76 percent of the student population had screenings with the help of IPEF and District 204.

For the past ten years, the Young Hearts for Life visited schools in the western suburbs, Chicago, and southwest suburbs. They have screened over 160,000 students while identifying more than 2,000 students with heart conditions.

“There is really no reason to not take advantage of the Young Hearts for Life program. Students should care because they are the reason this program was started. We hear stories all too often of an athlete suddenly dying in the middle of a game or just after finishing a game, and we don’t want that to happen any more,” P.E. teacher Ashley Abruscato said.

Students and parents agreed that the program proves to be beneficial when implemented in schools. “It was a great experience, everything was really organized and it was a simple and an easy process to sign up and show up. It is so essential and important to being healthy, and I wouldn’t have gotten them done if it hadn’t been provided through the school,” junior Savannah White said.

Along with the program’s doctors and nurses, Metea also had many volunteers aid in the process. “I volunteered for the Young Hearts for Life screening program because I believe that it is very worthwhile. Being able to detect a potentially life threatening condition through a relatively easy screening process and saving a student’s life is without a doubt worth it,” volunteer Jodie Bach said.

Metea spread the word about the Young Hearts for Life heart screening program through emails, extra credit opportunities, and announcements to ensure the Mustang community was informed.

Students can look out for more heart screening opportunities in the future. “As long as the IPEF is willing to fund this program, we will be participating in the screenings. They do a lot of work behind the scenes to prepare for an event that screens over 1,800 kids in one day, but it is well worth it,” Abruscato added.