By: Edric Robinson, Brooklyn Reality Check Manager
SUMMER, SUMMER, SUMMERTIME… YOUTH ADVOCATES KICK BUTTS TO UNWIND…
Alright we took and modified that title from the classic song “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, but the point is, it’s heating up outside…a sign that summer has arrived! Now with summer upon us, there is also a rise in opportunities for more youth advocacy against the tobacco industry and their deadly products including those electronic vapes.
NYC Smoke-Free’s Reality Check teen program regularly operates throughout the 5 boroughs from Brooklyn to neighborhoods in the Bronx – and here’s what we know for sure: Teens standing up and speaking out against the harm they see every day within their families, friend groups or just neighborhoods – are important as we tackle Big Tobacco and continue to fight against the recruitment of new, young smokers and money making tactics of people who become addicted to their deadly products.
This summer our programs are still on the ground working in communities and partnering with city government officials, grassroot youth groups and educational institutions. Our teams will be partnering with Columbia University’s Summer Enrichment Program where teens will learn, create and put on their own virtual forum educating their peers and community members and leaders on the negative impact and influence of the tobacco industry.
Another summer opportunity is the annual State-Wide Reality Check Youth Summit at Keuka College in upstate New York. At this youth summit, teens get a chance to experience first-hand what it’s like to stay on a college campus, mingle with other teens from across the state, and engage in activities and empowerment events that they can utilize when they return to their communities to advocate against Big Tobacco.
Our program is doing all it can, especially during these summer months to keep the work going – we’re proud of our student leaders and we know there are more out there that want to be involved and help. If you know of any teens or teen groups that might be interested in partnering with our Reality Check program for a workshop or event – please send us a message – find each Reality Check borough lead on our staff landing page…