Youth Fellows Lead Tobacco Awareness Efforts Nationwide
WASHINGTON, D.C.— A hip-hop dancer from Hawaii, a minister in Louisiana, and a Masters of Public Health student at the University of Missouri are just some of the members of the Legacy 2012-2013 Youth Activism Fellowship (YAF). YAF promotes and invests in youth leadership, and gathers insight and perspective on youth culture. The Youth Activism Fellows will develop innovative and effective initiatives to help Legacy, the largest national public health foundation dedicated to keeping teens from smoking and providing resources to smokers who want to quit, continue its efforts to communicate the harmful effects of tobacco use, with an emphasis on communicating those messages to teens and young adults across the nation.
“Research shows that most smokers begin smoking before the age of 18,” said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, president and CEO of Legacy. “While we have made great strides in reducing the smoking rates among our young people, the tobacco industry is always mindful of the ‘next generation’ of smokers. To sustain the success we’ve had in curbing teen smoking and eradicating tobacco use in America, new and fresh leadership is always needed. We created the Youth Activism Fellowship as a way to grow the skills of young people already achieving success at the local and state levels in tobacco control or public health. Through the Fellowship, we provide our activists with the skills and resources so that they may share their knowledge with other emerging leaders on this issue.”
YAF is an 18-month program, running from January 2012 through June 2013. The program trains young adult tobacco control advocates, increases awareness of new and emerging tobacco products through education, and builds and supports leadership among young adult advocates in the tobacco prevention and tobacco control fields. The fellows will actively engage in tobacco control educational efforts at the local, regional, state, and national levels.
This year, the fellows will work together to produce and distribute a new Legacy Youth Activism guide to promote effective strategies for addressing tobacco use in communities and campuses across the country. The guide will feature information related to tobacco industry marketing tactics, emerging products, and practical tools that activists can use to take action in the fight against commercial tobacco use.
The 2012-2013 class of Legacy Youth Activism Fellows includes:
Name Home City/State
Jonathan Allen New Iberia, Louisiana
Nick Fradkin Phoenix, Arizona
Ebony Haynes Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Jenna Jordan Columbia, Missouri
Jacob Lira San Marcos, Texas
Monica Medrano Henderson, Nevada
Hannah Mount Tooele, Utah
Tuyet Ngo New Orleans, Louisiana
Grady Sullivan Hilo, Hawaii
Natalie Syharath Shawnee, Oklahoma
Tonya Veitch Sunnyvale, California
“We welcome our new group of fellows,” said Amber Bullock, Executive Vice President, Program Development at Legacy, “and we look forward to supporting their local and national educational efforts over the course of the program.”
The program’s kickoff meeting took place in Januaryat Legacy’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Their next meeting which will be held in San Francisco next month, will focus on leadership skills development, community-based strategic planning and professional development.
Legacy helps people live longer, healthier lives by building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Legacy’s proven-effective and nationally recognized public education programs include truth®, the national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy’s life-saving programs, visit www.LegacyForHealth.org.
Follow us on Twitter @legacyforhealth and Facebook www.Facebook.com/Legacy.