Arizona Teens Get a Helping Hand

Legacy and Stand Members work together.

Legacy and Stand Members work together.

Teens from Arizona Collegiate High School’s STAND (Students Taking a New Direction) Youth Coalition recently received a special helping hand and a bit of mentoring from a group of college-age counterparts.

American Legacy Foundation Fellows, college-aged students from across the USA who work on tobacco policy change as part of the Foundation’s Youth Activism Fellowship Program, joined the students in a day-long event that put words into action.

The Legacy Fellows, who were attending an activism conference in Phoenix, took time out of their schedule to share ideas with the local students and partner in their effort to survey bus and light rail users and clean up cigarette butts.

Youth picked cigarette buts from METRO Light rail stations.

Youth picked cigarette buts from METRO Light rail stations.

Legacy Foundation’s Youth Activism Manager Bennie Patterson started the day by providing an overview of advocacy topics such as education, outreach and action. After a fun-filled ice-breaker, the STAND students and Legacy Fellows divided into three teams. A community outreach team surveyed passengers waiting at bus stops and light rail stations about smoking. A media team took photos and tweeted about the event and the third team picked up cigarette butts at the light rail stations. The event closed with a roundtable discussion about the importance of advocacy and how both groups could continue their efforts.

STAND Youth get tips on how to conduct to survey from their LEGACY counterparts.

STAND Youth get tips on how to conduct to survey from their LEGACY counterparts.

In addition to being a fun, productive and educational day,  the teens were able to see first-hand through their interaction with the Legacy Fellows how they might be able to continue their tobacco prevention advocacy efforts after high school.

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