- Help Your Students Change the Culture and Become a Heart Safe School
Julie WestJulie West is the founder of The Play for Jake Foundation and a member of LaPorte's City Council. She was a teacher for 25 years before working full-time to advance her foundation. When Julie lost her 17-year-old son to sudden cardiac arrest during a football game in 2013, she wanted to ensure no one experiences the loss of their child due to an undetected heart condition.
The Play for Jake Foundation offers heart screenings for students, works to place AEDs in critical areas in the community, and provides CPR classes. While Julie’s life was dramatically changed, she is determined to raise awareness and save lives.
Tonya Aerts is a veteran teacher in Northern Indiana and former health professional. She teaches PLTW Biomedical Sciences and is an advisor for the local HOSA-Future Health Professional Team. It is her focus to prepare students for a future in healthcare.
In 2017, at New Prairie High School, Mark Mayfield collapsed during a basketball game from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Several biomed and HOSA students were present at this game and tried to save their classmate. This sparked a movement with Tonya’s HOSA chapter and changed her view on teaching. The mission is now to create schools in Indiana that work to be a heart safe environment.