HHS custodian surprised with AHA Lifestyle Change Award

HHS Custodiam surprised with ADA Lifestyle Award 

Harlandale High School Head Custodian Hector Noriega was surprised with the American Heart Association (AHA) Healthy For Good Lifestyle Change Award on Feb. 12. 

The AHA award recognizes individuals for creating a lasting change in their health and their life, one small step at a time.

“I feel so honored. I was not expecting this,” Noriega said with a smile. “I feel like I’ve been given a second chance.”

Noriega received the award by AHA Development Specialist Tammi Martin and SWBC Wellness Program Manager Chris Dillon. Harlandale ISD Superintendent Rey Madrigal, Executive Director for Human Resources Diane Tudyk, Benefits Coordinator Elizabeth Guajardo, HHS Principal Alfred Anthony and HHS Assistant Principal Philip Reyna were also present to congratulate Noriega.

Noriega, who has served the district for 21 years, decided to make a lifestyle change when he began to experience shortness of breath. He said heart disease runs in his family and did not want to be another candidate for the disease.

With the help of his doctor, he began to eat healthier and exercise. He has lost a total of 87 pounds in the last six months.

“The hardest part was getting started. I cut out menudo, barbacoa and soda,” he added. “Now, I feel so energetic and excited!”

Noriega hopes his journey to a healthier lifestyle inspires others in the Harlandale community to do the same.

“I’ve gotten a lot of support from friends, loved ones, employees and colleagues,” he said. “I’m excited to be a part of the Harlandale ISD.”

Noriega was also invited to attend the 2019 San Antonio Heart and Stroke Walk on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Texas A&M University San Antonio, where he will be recognized alongside other recipients.

Way to go, Mr. Noriega!

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