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2023 Youth Council Retreat Group Photo

2023 Youth Council Kickoff

17 youth from across the State, representing three islands and 11 different schools, gathered together in the Honolulu HIPHI office on Saturday, August 19, to kick off the 2023/2024 Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaiʻi Youth Council.

Students participated in engaging activities and workshops with like-minded youth facilitated by their peers, gained valuable insights into the impact of tobacco on their communities, and developed leadership skills to effectively advocate for a tobacco and nicotine-free generation.

One of the highlights was hearing from Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids 2023 Barrie Fiske National Youth Advocate of the Year Award winner DJ Yearwood. DJ shared his experience fighting against Big Tobacco and preemption in his home state of Missouri. Youth connected with DJ via Zoom, sharing their experiences in Hawaiʻi and gaining inspiration from his work in Missouri.

The youth also practiced conducting the Take Down Tobacco (TDT) training and how to deliver their policy priority presentation on ending the sale of flavored tobacco.

Youth attending the event provided the following comments on “My Favorite part of the day:”

  • “ When we got to listen to our peers presenting the TDT presentation.”
  • “ Meeting new people and listening to what DJ had to share.”
  • “Getting to see the presentation and learning about what I can do, such as submitting testimony.”
  • “The energizers as they gave me a chance to connect with other like-minded youth from different islands!!!”
  • “I liked collaborating with everyone and just working alongside new people to reach a common goal.”

Youth Council members are currently working to get county-level policies to end the sale of flavored tobacco passed and preparing for their Awareness Building Workshop in November.

Do you know a youth who would like to get involved? Go to hiphi.org/youth for more information, and follow the Youth Council on Instagram @hiphiyc!

YC members presenting their ideas on a whiteboard.
YC members presenting their ideas on a whiteboard.
YC member presenting the "Take Down Tobacco" slide deck.
YC member presenting the "Take Down Tobacco" slide deck to a group of students.
YC members meeting DJ Yearwood on Zoom.
YC members playing an icebreaker game with string.
2023 Youth Council Retreat Group Photo
YC members presenting their ideas on a whiteboard.YC member presenting the "Take Down Tobacco" slide deck.YC member presenting the "Take Down Tobacco" slide deck to a group of students.YC members meeting DJ Yearwood on Zoom.YC members playing an icebreaker game with string.2023 Youth Council Retreat Group Photo
Scott Stensrud, MA

Scott Stensrud, MA

Statewide Youth Coordinator
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