The Aylo Health Family Values Award

September 14 • 2017

When you hear the word ‘athlete’ you typically think of a collection of words associated with performance– champion, trophies, victory, or all-star. Or maybe you dig a little deeper and think of attributes that lead to high-performance. Things like hard work, determination, and resiliency.

Those terms are definitely part of the fabric that makes up an athlete, but they focus on just one aspect of the person who achieves great things in sports. There is a much sturdier foundation worth celebrating, one that we at Aylo Health are proud to support. And we’re working with a great partner who has been recognizing young athletes whose character and attitude are making a difference.

Positive Athlete was created six years ago in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when founder and president of Celebrate Positive, LLC, Scott Pederson, and a group of high-profiled athletes shared a unique goal – to shine a light and honor young, positive athletes that gave back despite their circumstances through scholarships as well as recognition. This was a side of athleticism that they felt desperately needed to be showcased as well as rewarded. Former Georgia Bulldog and two time Super Bowl champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Hines Ward, became the spokesperson for the Pittsburgh region. Since then, over $100,000 of college scholarships have been rewarded to high school athletes. Positive Athlete’s message was infectious and soon migrated to Ward’s stomping ground here in Georgia where he and Pederson currently reside. Just like in Pittsburgh, Ward became the spokesperson and the foundation was widely received. Now 14 Georgia school regions participate in Positive Athlete. Additionally, over 10,000 kids have been recognized since the program’s inception.

This year, Aylo Health has teamed up with Positive Athlete and Hines Ward and has created the Aylo Health Family Values Award.

“We’re not putting out a search for the best athletes in Georgia,” said Hines Ward, “We’re searching for kids with positive attitudes whose efforts don’t necessarily show up on the stat sheets.  These kids are also positive role models in their schools who get involved in charitable causes, have already learned the meaning of giving back at an early age, and many have overcome difficult circumstances and remained positive. So adding an award such as the Aylo Health Family Values Award will definitely impact these already amazing kids in an even greater way.”

Ward, who grew up in South Atlanta, knows how imperative it is to retain an optimistic attitude, despite one’s disparity. As a child of both African American and South Korean descent, he was constantly faced with racial slander. He didn’t let other’s words stop him from being the ultimate overachiever. Once football came into the picture, the rest was simply history. He found himself apart of a unit where no one looked at him as bi-racial, but as an athlete who continuously assisted his teammates as well as his community.

Beyond being an essential part of Steeler’s winning history, Hines Ward added another trophy to his mantle: Season 12 winner of Dancing with the Stars. This just goes to show that no matter what you choose to do, optimism is the key to a great (and even unexpected) outcome.

When asked how important it is to have a program and an award like Positive Athlete and the Aylo Health Family Value Award (respectively) in schools, Ward said, “This is the fifth year for the Positive Athlete program in Georgia and our first year teaming up with Aylo Health, and the stories of our nominees continue to amaze me. I was always credited with having a positive influence on my team during my days with the UGA and the Steelers, but the stories I hear about these kids really inspire me to be a better person”.

This initiative was a great fit for Aylo Health, as it gave us the opportunity to give back to the community and support the next generation of leaders who reflect our family values. Young athletes that encourage and put their teammates first on and off the field, take time out to help others, serve their communities, admit to imperfections, always give 100%, and have a heart for everyone are just a few exemplary attributes that qualify a student-athlete for nomination. Many of the most remarkable athletes have or are overcoming adversity or obstacles and set an example for others along the way.

“We are so excited that Aylo Health is partnering with us to support the Positive Athlete Georgia program”, said Ward. “The Aylo Health Family Values Award is one that I am proud to have on the south side of Atlanta.  I grew up on the south side and will always hold a special place in my heart for the area. Aylo Health’s commitment to our communities makes them the ideal partner for the program.”

We are proud to partner with Hines Ward and the Positive Athlete team as a scholarship sponsor. We will be honoring one special athlete from our surrounding counties of Henry, Rockdale, Butts, and Clayton that embodies the aforementioned characteristics with the Aylo Health Family Values Award and a $1,000 college scholarship.  If you know of an athlete in our area that deserves special recognition or has impacted your life or the lives of others in a positive way, please click here and fill out the form. The last day to submit your nominations is March 16, 2018.

“I just want these kids to be remembered for the kind of people they are,” Ward added. “Kindness and resiliency go a long way and when a company like Aylo Health recognizes that, it encourages them to continue to do more for their communities and influence others to do so as well.”

Help honor (and reward) a deserving student-athlete by nominating them for the Aylo Health Family Values Award. Let’s show our positive teens that there’s more to celebrate than just championships and encourage them to be apart of the blueprint of overachievers in school, sports, and in life.