Ocracoke Youth Awarded Statewide Youth Advocate Award
Youth who receive this certificate have completed a series of required tasks including: participation in at least four youth empowerment trainings; implementation of a teen tobacco prevention presentation or activity in their school or community; and perform at least ten hours of relevant community service.
"I am inspired by these young leaders," said Wesley Smith, Hyde County Health Director. "It is important to recognize the contributions these youth have made to the health of our community by educating their peers and community about the dangers of tobacco use and encouraging them to remain tobacco free or to quit."
TRU is a statewide initiative to prevent tobacco use among teens and has been influential in the consistent drop in tobacco use rates among youth. In 2011 NC reach an historic low for teen cigarette smoking. High school smoking rates lowered to 15.5 percent in 2011 from 16.7 percent in 2009.
"It was no small undertaking for these students to meet the requirements of becoming certified," said Gwen Austin, Ocracoke School Adult Leader. "I am especially proud of Katie, Molly and Emmet's enthusiasm to participate in youth empowerment trainings and to provide leadership for the Ocracoke Community Health Fair that took place for three years."
The award was presented to the three students at a TRU assembly at Ocracoke School in June.
Ocracoke middle and high school students heard a presentation by Kristy Andrews, a young widow whose husband, Justin, died of lung cancer at the age of 30, when their son was 2 years old. Justin had started smoking at the age of 14. Kristy promised him she would tell his story to anyone who would listen, and she now visits schools around North Carolina keeping her promise and telling kids that "one decision can change your entire life."
For more information about TRU in Hyde, Dare, and Currituck County contact Lisa Phillips at 252-475-5077.