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Eight grader elected to Students Working Against Tobacco youth | News

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Eight grader elected to Students Working Against Tobacco youth
News, People, Schools
Eight grader elected to Students Working Against Tobacco youth

Pasco County, Florida -- Mykenzie Robertson, an 8th grade student at Charles S. Rushe Middle School, was elected to the Youth Advocacy Board (YAB) of the statewide Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) organization during a regional meeting held on September 14 in Auburndale. Only 12 students in Florida are elected to the YAB board each year to represent their region in the creation of SWAT campaigns and programs.

"There are so many differences and similarities between counties," said Mykenzie. "But, when you teach your small team strategies to accomplish a goal and all the (SWAT) representatives have the same goals and strategies, GREAT things can happen."

In addition to electing statewide representatives, the regional meeting served as an opportunity to provide the youth with a historical look at tobacco prevention issues and offer valuable insights and critical information to support tobacco education and prevention policies. Katelyn Kirves, a 7th grade student from River Ridge Middle School, joined Mykenzie in representing Pasco County at the meeting.

"What I enjoyed most was being with SWAT members from around the state," said Katelyn. "Their passion and drive in working against tobacco use inspired me to stay on my crusade."

The SWAT program is an integral part of the Tobacco Free Florida program that concentrates on educating students on both the dangers of tobacco and deceptive advertising practices of the tobacco companies to attract new adolescent tobacco users. The Tobacco Prevention Program divides the 67 counties in Florida into four regions and Mykenzie was one of three students elected to represent Region 3, comprised of Brevard, Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Seminole Counties.

For more information on Tobacco Free Florida and current initiatives visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com

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