On April 12th, two of Kentucky Youth Advocates’ Health Youth Ambassadors took part in the Kentucky Youth Tobacco Control Workshop hosted by the Networking for Kentucky Youth (N4KY) and #iCANendthetrend Youth Advisory Board.

This youth-developed and youth-led tobacco control workshop was a full-day immersive experience which offered a chance for students from across the state to connect, network, and learn both with and from one another. Throughout the day, students took part in team building activities, networking breakout sessions, and interactive workshop sessions. 

In the first workshop session, #iCANendthe trend Youth Advisory Board members provided students with an interactive overview of nicotine and vaping issues in Kentucky. The next workshop session, hosted by Kentucky Youth Advocates’ Health Youth Ambassadors, led students in discussions and interactive activities on developing a policy agenda and advocacy skills-building. The final workshop session–led by keynote speaker Daniel Hatcher, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation–focused on students finding their passions and their voice to make change.

Jordan Joslin, Bullitt County:

“During this day, I was able to learn about youth tobacco prevention and what students at other schools and counties are doing to stop tobacco use among teens. We played games, had lunch, built connections with other students, and shared our ideas with others. My favorite part of the workshop was at the beginning when we played an icebreaker game with all of the students, and Kirsten and I made it to the semi finals out of everyone. At this conference, I was able to tell people about the KIDS COUNT County Data Book, show them data, and give students their own data book so they can use it in the future. I think it is important for young people to be involved in this work because we are the future, and we are the ones that see what is going on in our schools. This conference was a great opportunity. I think KYA/HYA was able to learn a lot, and we were also able to share about HYA and what we do.”

Kirsten Yancy, Graves County:

“Despite having to wake up at 3am to get to the conference on time, I had a blast. I got to spend the day surrounded by my peers as we discussed tobacco/nicotine prevention efforts and mental health among youth. As our KYA/HYA representatives, Jordan and I shared about our trip to the State Capitol for Children’s Advocacy Day. I shared about the discussion that I had with Senator Meredith on youth vaping issues in my community. I also informed students about the different types of advocacy. It was an amazing experience hearing all of the students share their story. I can’t wait to see the change that this group makes in the world.”

We would like to thank both Jordan and Kirsten for representing our Health Youth Ambassadors cohort at the Kentucky Youth Tobacco Control Workshop this year. We would also like to thank the Networking for Kentucky Youth (N4KY) and #iCANendthetrend Youth Advisory Board for hosting a wonderful youth-led event for students. Check out event photos below.