When I got the initial questionnaire about being able to come to the White House I’ll admit I was skeptical. Was it a scam? Why would they pick me? Is this for real? These were all questions I asked as I sent in my availability. When I received the actual invitation I was sitting in my car, and I didn’t move until I filled out all of the information. It didn’t settle in for me until I had been confirmed and all I could think is “I’m going to the White House.” I didn’t even want to share the information until the morning of for fear something would go wrong. However with a push of a friend I did. Everyone was excited including myself.
I think I got about 3.5 hours of sleep the night before. I checked to make sure I had everything that my purse had nothing in it that would get me thrown on, that my clothes were White House worthy. Once I arrived everyone on the staff was very welcoming. There were bloggers from across the US all coming to learn about the Let’s Move initiative, take photos, network, and of course see the First Lady.
Arriving to the White House felt like a dream, stepping though the doors gave me a sense of nervousness in my stomach that I don’t think ever went away. As I walked around the Entrance Hall, Red Room, Blue Room, and Green Room I was in a daze. I remembered to snap out of it long enough to take as many pictures and videos as I could. I also remembered to interact and get to know the people that were there. It was important to get to know those that were selected to take part in the conversation on our children’s health.
Soon after networking, the doors to the East room opened and I can’t lie I ran right for the first row, middle table. Deb Eschmeyer, Executive Director of Let’s Move, began the open remarks giving us the statistics on what the Let’s Move campaign has been able to accomplish over the past six years.
- More than 30 million kids are eating healthier school breakfasts and lunches.
- 2 million kids now have a Let’s Move! Salad Bar in their school.
- Over 10 million kids attend Let’s Move! Active Schools where they strive to get 60 minutes of physical activity a day
- 1.6 million kids are now attending healthier daycare centers where fruits and vegetables have replaced cookies and juice
Panelists from the USDA, Partnership for A Healthier America, Department of Interior, and The US Department of Health and Human Services also gave great insight on how they help with the initiative as well. The overall theme was to engage the community, create a passionate for health and fitness for our youth, and introduce a healthy eating in a way that is fun and exciting for kids.
What moved me the most was the passion and fire each of the speakers’ eyes as they spoke about how much this meant to them. Most of them were mothers, who spoke about their personal trials with trying to create a healthier environment for their children. They made me feel welcome. Why? Because they expressed that they too had instances where junk food and lack of exercise was something they had to deal with as they tried to implement a better way. I felt like they understood that being a mother and a businesswoman has its toll and that’s okay. It’s okay as long as you realize that there are other alternatives to raising healthier children. They included resources from nationalparks.org which has a program for 4th graders and their families to experience our national treasures free of charge.
Leaving the White House was bittersweet as we descended upon the White House garden to see the fresh vegetables that had been planted. It was at that moment that I knew I wanted to be involved as much as I could. I want to use my platform to create awareness and be a catalyst for change. Thank you to SheKnows Media, BlogHer.com, and The White House for inviting Women’s Elevation Magazine to this wonderful event. WE Magazine looks forward to showcasing the amazing work that you all continue to do!
For more information on the Let’s Move initiative and their partnerships feel free to click on the links below.
Let’s Move – http://www.letsmove.gov/
Partnership For A Healthier America – http://ahealthieramerica.org/
Fruits N Vegetables – www.fnv.com