Standing on the field at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium, Rockwood South Middle
eighth-grader Margaret didn't think her day could get much better.
She was being honored before the Dec. 29 Kansas City Chiefs game as the Missouri state ambassador for the NFL-affiliated Fuel Up to Play 60 program, which promotes health and wellness in schools. She and the Kansas state ambassador, Victor, were on the field during pregame warmups and, as the clock ticked down toward game time, they received Chiefs jerseys with their names on them and joined team Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt at the 40-yard-line for a special presentation.
That's when Margaret saw her face on the big screen, soaring high above the end zone.
"That was the coolest thing I think I've ever done in my entire life," she said. "Seeing my face on the big screen was just awesome. I'd never experienced anything like it before."
Margaret is the third straight Rockwood South student to represent Missouri as its Fuel Up to Play 60 ambassador. In order to be considered, students earn points through completing activities and service projects. Then they have to submit a video and application explaining why they would make a good ambassador.
"She has a drive as an individual to achieve and consistently be a better version of herself," said Anna Forcelledo, Rockwood South physical education teacher and the school's Fuel Up to Play 60 advisor. "That floods into her schoolwork, her sports, into Fuel Up and into her plans for high school. It's a really remarkable thing."
As state ambassador, Margaret took part in a four-day national Fuel Up to Play 60 summit over the summer in Cleveland, where she met other ambassadors from around the country and engaged in team-building and leadership development activities.
Her group included students from Kentucky, Maryland, California, Colorado, Wisconsin and Florida, with whom she still communicates daily. One of her favorite parts of the summit was the trip the ambassadors made along with Cleveland Browns players to visit underprivileged students in Cleveland.
"I can't even put into words how much I loved it," Margaret said. "It's cool how something I do for my school can lead up to something national. I'm a really social person, so I love talking to everyone else, trying to be a leader with everyone. The fact that I got to do that and make a difference through Fuel Up was the best experience I ever could've had."