Lawrence Youth Advisor Wins Statewide Award at Virtual Kick Butts Day: Youth Day of Action
By Ashley Hall, MS,
Program Manager, Northeast Tobacco-Free Community Partnership
Recently, young people from the Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force from the Lawrence/Methuen Community Coalition attended Kick Butts Day: Youth Day of Action, a virtual event hosted by The 84 Movement, a statewide movement of youth fighting against the tobacco and vaping industries in Massachusetts.
The 318 youth and adults who attended Kick Butts Day from around the Commonwealth work to educate and mobilize young people in their communities about tobacco and vaping industry targeting. Kick Butts Day took place at the Massachusetts State House in Boston before the pandemic; now The 84 Movement still offers a safe way to celebrate the annual event.
During an awards ceremony, Evelyn Rodriguez, adult advisor to the Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force, received the 2021 Adult Advisor Award and was honored for her dedication to youth tobacco prevention and promoting the voice of young people. She is a passionate advocate for tobacco prevention and was heavily involved in the 2020 No Menthol Know Why Campaign that educated the community about the tobacco industry’s targeting of menthol products to communities of color.
Evelyn Rodriguez has been the adult advisor to the Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force since 2016 when she began the chapter at Lawrence High School. She engaged hundreds of youth in her chapter and helped create a strong community of youth leaders in Lawrence. Eve’s positive attitude, enthusiasm for tobacco prevention, and success at elevating youth voices are inspiring.
During another part of the Kick Butts Day event, the youth met virtually with Representatives Christina Minicucci and Frank Moran. They discussed the importance of keeping the community informed on the dangers of tobacco, the tactics used by the industry to addict customers, and the prevalence of hookah tobacco in the city of Lawrence. The representatives learned that the youth want to see data about hookah use in Lawrence and they are following up with the YSAPTF about that.
For more information, visit www.The84.org, mass.gov/vaping and www.makesmokinghistory.org or contact Ashley Hall at (978) 722-2864 or firstname.lastname@example.org