The Coast News Group
Max Wilson (center with plaque) takes part in the “Distinguished Awards Ceremony” at Washington D.C. in June at the Wooly Mammoth Theater since he earned a seat as an ambassador following a nationwide search.  Courtesy photo

Local student named ambassador in fight against childhood obesity

CARLSBAD — In an effort to find solutions to reverse childhood obesity, the Active Schools Acceleration Project championed a nationwide initiative called ChildObesity180. 

While choosing regional winning schools, which advocate innovative projects and activities to keep kids healthy, it also found 10 students to serve as ambassadors of its program.

Max Wilson, a running superstar and student at Carrillo Elementary School, took part in this nationwide selection and earned an ambassador seat. After all, Max has captured three national running championships wins.

Max served on a panel, offering feedback on video clips of the regional school winners and his ambassador experience peaked when attending the “Distinguished Awards Ceremony” at Washington, D.C., in June at the Wooly Mammoth Theater.

“Physical activity is extremely important to me and is a big part of my life,” said Max, 10. “I wanted to participate in this great opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., help with the competition, and meet new people with similar interests.”

For ambassador consideration, the Active Schools Acceleration Project, or ASAP, put out a nationwide request for children between the ages 10 and 15 to submit an essay about their personal regard of physical activity and how it impacted the author.

After Max wrote his piece, his fourth-grade teacher, Nicole McClymonds, officially nominated him and submitted his essay in March.

“Max was an obvious candidate for this because of his accomplishments and character,” said McClymonds, adding that he is a tough worker who always puts his heart into everything he does.

McClymonds describes Max as a “straight A” student, talented athlete, and a leader among his peers. She said his humbleness is punctuated with each one of these qualities.

“He is quick to cheer on his peers and celebrate their accomplishments instead of bragging

about his own,” McClymonds said. She added, “His quiet, respectful and thoughtful nature, teamed with his work ethic, show the other children what is needed to be a true champion.”

Max’s mother, Tina Wilson, said she was most excited about how proud her son was to be selected as ambassador.

“He was happy that ASAP could see how much physical activity means to him and how much he wants other kids to have similar opportunities,” Tina Wilson said. “Max brings a powerful perspective because he has been able to achieve a certain level of success that stems from the very type of school program that ASAP was seeking to recognize; if it weren’t for Max’s exposure to his school’s unique running program, he may not have discovered his passion for physical activity as early as he did.”

Tina Wilson wants people to know how grateful she is to ChildObesity180 for giving her son a unique opportunity, which included a visit to the nation’s capital and taking part in such an important cause.

Max’s mother also attended the awards ceremony calling it very exciting. ASAP visited the winning schools and filmed their activity programs for guests to view during the event.

“They were inspiring to watch and some even brought tears to my eyes,” she said. “Even though we were gathered to find out who the national winners were, it felt more like a celebration of the efforts of all of the passionate and dedicated individuals who daily give their time and effort into helping kids stay healthy everywhere.”

Max admits he was saddened by the fact that his school wasn’t one of the regional winners for its running program. But still, he had fun at the ceremony by welcoming guests and taking his seat in the front row.

“My favorite part was getting to present the big checks and awards to the regional and national winners on stage,” he said.