Shawn’s journey began eight years ago when he passed out a quarter of a mile into a one-mile race at the Station Avenue Elementary School Field Day. At that moment he swore that he would one day enjoy a lifestyle uninhibited by the extra weight that constricted the same quality of life as his peers. Shawn says, “I became more aware of the growing national childhood obesity pandemic, I realized my own potential to exact change in the lives of other children experiencing the same difficulties.” Through the next twelve months, Shawn endeavored to produce a cooking show that strived to end childhood obesity, starting in the kitchen. Shawn states, “Through photo shoots to newspaper interviews I attempted to inspire my peers to believe in themselves and their ability to enact change within their own lives.” Shawn had an opportunity to spread his story as a guest on the Rachel Ray show.
As a Kids Spokesperson for the American Heart Association’s Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Shawn has had the opportunity to speak at community groups such as The Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs across the state. “I have used my story to show kids the potential they have within themselves and the means in which they can change their lives, using that potential,” Shawn says. Since 2007, each month Shawn e-mails his “Cook Booklet” to 180 kids that have requested his support. Shawn states, “He has come to realize that all it takes is one person who believe that they can make a difference.” Shawn will be attending Harvard University in the fall.