About the Rising Star Award

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Sponsored by a coalition of professional health organizations as a part of the annual Texas Obesity Awareness Week and the Texas Health Champion Award Ceremony, the Rising Star Award was presented to young Texans (9-12 and 13-18 years of age) who had demonstrated exceptional leadership in his or her community in an effort to raise awareness and reduce the burden of the obesity. Past youth recipients have initiated their own community service groups, partnered with various non-profit, educational, and governmental agencies to address local health disparities, coached and mentored, authored children’s books, and have been ambassadors for health policies, all while furthering their education and other extracurricular activities.

The Rising Star Awards were presented at the Texas Health Champion Award Ceremony held during Texas Obesity Awareness Week in AustinDue to organizational changes within our research center, we are currently re-evaluating the Rising Star Awards. We hope to be able to include this program in future activities held at the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living in upcoming years.

More about the Texas Rising Star Award:

Past award selection criteria:

  • Initiative: Applicant sees an opportunity to create or foster an obesity prevention initiative in his/her community.
  • Leadership: Applicant serves as a leader or mentor to peers within his/her school, community organization or neighborhood.
  • Education: Applicant seeks to learn more about obesity prevention and public health, and understands the value of the learning process in program/community development.
  • Future Plans: Applicant has a plan to continue his/her involvement and education in the field of obesity prevention.

Rising Star Awardees:

2019 Winners:

Bailee Chavez (age 15)
Big Sandy, Texas

Rayna Manchala (age 15)
Austin, Texas

Jimena TInoco (age 16)
Houston, Texas

2018 Winner:

Sruthi Ilangovan (age 16)
Austin, Texas

2017 Winners:

Hannah Diaz (age 17)
Weslaco, Texas

Ian McKenna (age 12)
Austin, Texas

2016 Winners:

Danee Rodriguez (age 16)
Weslaco, TX

Alexander Mancevski (age 15)
Austin, TX

Alejandro Villarreal (age 11)
Corpus Christi, TX

2015 Winners:

Joyce Chen (age 17)
Sugar Land, TX

Paul Eguia (age 11)
San Antonio, TX

2014 Winner:

Shayna Underwood
New Braunfels, TX

2013 Winner:

Danielle Fournier
Sugarland, Texas