ATCA Teen Ambassadors strive to educate the community on the impacts of tobacco, and supports tobacco free areas. We empower youth to make a difference in their communities. Our coalition connects everyone toward the same cause: to make Alaska tobacco free.
WHO ARE THE TEEN AMBASSADORS?
Ninety percent of all adult smokers begin this deadly addiction as teenagers or earlier. Each day in the United States, over 3,800 young people under 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette, and over 1,000 of those young people become daily cigarette smokers. In Alaska, while seeing a substantial decrease from 1995, where 1 in 3 students started smoking under 13, in 2013, 1 in 10 students still begin smoking under the age of 13. A vast majority of those who begin smoking during adolescence are addicted to nicotine by young adulthood. The tobacco industry uses this information to their advantage and are constantly providing deceptive messaging that disillusion and persuade youth to pick up a tobacco product. As result, youth are critical and powerful voices in the fight against tobacco. They can encourage their peers, create messaging that counteracts tobacco’s misleading messages and have the voice to urge local, state and national leaders to protect Alaska’s youth from ever becoming a statistic.
The Teen Ambassador program offers middle and high school aged students the opportunity to become involved in tobacco prevention at the state and local level. Teen Ambassadors work with supportive adults from state and local agencies to provide tobacco education and advocacy in their communities and statewide.
Sunny Hemen, 17
Interesting Fact: I live in a one room log cabin. 🙂
Hobbies: running, hiking, reading, music, and overreacting
Jivan GordonWolfe, 17
Interesting Fact: I am a III Degree Black Belt in TKD
Hobbies: martial arts, studying law
Jackson Blackwell, Senior
Interesting Fact: I am the Senior Class President and the National Honor Society President.
Hobbies: tobacco prevention advocacy, hiking, camping, downhill and cross country skiing, as well as volunteering in my community.
Leena Robinson, 13
Interesting Fact: I went to a leadership conference in Washington DC
Hobbies: skiing and cooking
Avu Brown, 17
Interesting Fact: I lived in Kaktovik
Hobbies: pottery and metal work
Chanesa Chayalkun, 18 Hooper Bay
Menzo Bell, 17
Hooper Bay, AK
Interesting Facts: I like beatboxing
Hobbies: playing basketball and hanging out with my friends
Zachary Stockton, 16
Become a Teen Ambassador!
Interested in traveling, making new friends and want to make a difference in your community? Apply to become a Teen Ambassador! Teen Ambassadors serve for a year-long term and assist with the ATCA Summit Planning Committee in planning the statewide ATCA Summit. Teen Ambassadors work within their own communities to engage and educate their peers in the importance of a tobacco free Alaska. Grow your leadership, planning and critical thinking skills while learning more about tobacco prevention and how to create a tobacco free-Alaska and beyond.
Eligibility: Must be an Alaskan resident ages 13-18 years old attending middle or high school. Must be able to commit to a year of service and willing to actively participate in a community engagement activity.
Check back soon for the 2017-2018 Application Materials!
Support a Teen Ambassador!
Teen Ambassadors take leadership and knowledge learned back home to encourage peers and others to tackle tobacco in their communities. A supportive adult in their community can mean all the difference in this sometimes difficult work.
If you are interested in getting youth involved and supporting your youth’s tobacco prevention efforts, talk with your local or regional Tobacco Prevention and Control (TPC) grantee for more information how to get involved locally. Each region across the state had different programs available for youth. Groups exist from Kodiak’s K.A.R.A.T (Kodiak Alaska’s Revolution Against Tobacco) program, Peninsula T.A.T.U (Teens against Tobacco Use), to Nenena’s P.I.N.K. (People In Need of Knowledge). These local coalitions provide opportunities to build the foundation for tobacco prevention work. Youth do not have to be actively involved in a local tobacco prevention group or coalition to apply to be a Teen Ambassador.