PORTLAND, Ore., July 25, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Professional football player Jonathan Scott and the National Psoriasis Foundation encourage the roughly 700,000 people under age 18 with psoriasis in the United States to help their peers take control of their condition by becoming a National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) Youth Ambassador.
The Psoriasis Foundation Youth Ambassador program, supported by LEO Pharma Inc. and its LEO QualityCare program, encourages youth with psoriasis to serve as ambassadors in their community and to help inspire other teenagers with psoriasis. Learn more at: www.psoriasis.org/youthambassador
Scott, a nine-year veteran of the National Football League, was diagnosed with plaque psoriasis in 2009 after the loss of his father. He was a member of the University of Texas football team that won the Rose Bowl BCS National Championship in 2006 and was a fifth-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. An offensive tackle, he's played for the Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions and most recently, the Atlanta Falcons.
"I'm passionate about helping youth succeed in life and as someone also diagnosed with psoriasis, I'm excited to help teens with psoriasis lead confident, fulfilling lives," said Jonathan Scott. "I didn't know what psoriasis was until I got it. Now, I want to teach and create awareness about this condition. I want to use this Youth Ambassador program to tell young people with psoriasis that they're not alone."
National Psoriasis Foundation Youth Ambassadors will receive a $500 stipend to support their work in their communities. They'll also have opportunities to participate in events and share with others what it's like living with psoriasis—the most common autoimmune disease in the country, affecting up to 7.5 million Americans. Requirements of the NPF Youth Ambassadors include:
- Participating as a Team Captain in their local Team NPF Walk
- Participating in other National Psoriasis Foundation activities on a quarterly basis
- Sharing their experiences with others and participating in Youth Ambassador calls
"Growing up with psoriasis can have a significant impact on quality of life. Because it's visible on the skin, many young people face stigma because people fear it's contagious," said Randy Beranek, National Psoriasis Foundation president and CEO. "We're grateful to LEO Pharma and Jonathan Scott for their support, so we can work together to make sure teens with psoriasis can realize their full potential and help each other succeed."
To be eligible, applicants must be 12-18 years of age and apply by August 19. The NPF will select 19 Youth Ambassadors, who will be notified by September 1. In early 2016, one national Youth Ambassador will be selected and will receive a $2,500 scholarship, as well as invitations to special NPF events.
To learn more and apply, visit: www.psoriasis.org/youthambassador
A chronic, noncontagious autoimmune disease, psoriasis causes the skin to crack, itch and bleed. It's the most common autoimmune disease in the country. People with psoriasis are at greater risk for heart disease, heart attack, diabetes and obesity, among other health conditions. Up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis. If left untreated, psoriatic arthritis can be disabling.
About the National Psoriasis Foundation
National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) is the world's largest nonprofit serving those with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Our priority is to provide the information and services people need to take control of their condition, while increasing research to find a cure. In addition to serving more than 2.1 million people annually through our health education and advocacy initiatives, NPF has funded more than $13 million in psoriatic disease research grants and fellowships. Learn more about the Psoriasis Foundation at www.psoriasis.org or call 800-723-9166. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
SOURCE National Psoriasis Foundation