Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hendry-Glades Students At Orlando Training

Five Students Represent Hendry-Glades At Orlando Meeting

LABELLE, FL. -- Five youth from Hendry and Glades Counties Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) attended the Statewide SWAT Training held in Orlando on July 24-26, 2012. SWAT members representing Glades  County were Blanca Aranda, Monica Leavy, and Elsi Velasquez; these students attend Moore Haven Jr/Sr High School.

Hendry County representatives wereYanely Ramirez, LaBelle High School, and Savana Beckett, Clewiston Middle School. The training was hosted by the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida and facilitated by the state SWAT Youth Advocacy Board.

Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) was established in August 1997 whenFloridawon a landmark victory against the tobacco industry. SWAT is an anti-tobacco organization that students in middle and high school can join to participate in activities and events that support the vision of a Tobacco Free Florida. SWAT is the youth advocacy organization supported by the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida. 

On a local level, SWAT members advocate for policy change that will discourage youth tobacco initiation, reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and promote cessation. The goal of these policies is to change social norms so that tobacco use and advertising by tobacco companies are not accepted as part of our cultural norms.

During the statewide SWAT training, youth focused on the marketing practices of “Big Tobacco” that often appeal to youth and other disparate populations. SWAT works to educate the community about the marketing practices of Big Tobacco and the benefits of leading tobacco-free lifestyles. All who attended were invigorated and learned skills to carry on with the important anti-tobacco messages to their peers, schools and communities.

Finally, during the statewide SWAT training, elections for the state SWAT Youth Advocacy Board were held. The SWAT Youth Advocacy Board (YAB) is the 12-member executive committee of the SWAT whose members are elected yearly by their peers. 

The YAB consists of three SWAT members representing each of the four regions in Florida. One of our local Hendry County youth was elected to the SWAT YAB: Savana Beckett, she is an 8th grade student at Clewiston Middle School and will represent Hendry County and Region 4 over the next 12 months.

For more information on Hendry and/or Glades County SWAT please contact Valarie James-674-4041 ext 128 or Doug Freer-946-0707 ext 404.

Photo Left to Right: Monica, Savana, Blanca, Yanely, Elsi

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:27 PM

    Yeah......meanwhile everyone is promoting marijuana. All this is BS. And the name play SWAT is a joke.