Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cassie Johnson - How YLC has Impacted My Life

Youth Leadership Council has impacted my life by; helping me discover my passion. I’ve been involved with YLC for 6 years, since my 7th grade year of middle school. I mainly first joined YLC because all of my friends were there and It got me out of class for awhile. But then I attend a JEL Summit, a JEL summit used to be an overnight conference that kids came to from all over Iowa to learn about tobacco prevention. I made many new friends at this summit but I also saw a lot of heartbreak too. One the first night of the summit, once it was dark outside we all gathered around a small water fountain for a CandleLight Vigil. At this vigil, kids had a chance to remember their loved ones they lost from tobacco. For the first time, I realized how much tobacco was affecting people lives. and I knew after that summit, I wanted to be involved with YLC as much as I could because I didn’t want to be the one standing in front of everyone telling them who I had lost to tobacco. I have had so much fun during my high school year being involved with Youth Leadership Council, I’ve learned so much! I am now apart of the I-STEP (Formally JEL) Executive Council at the state level, which has increased my passion for tobacco education and prevention. There is one major thing about how YLC has impacted my life. Recently I went to a meeting at the new Keosauqua Welcome Center with another YLC member, we attended the meeting because we wished to ask the council to consider making their courtyard smoke-free. Before we even left the meeting, they decided to agree to make the courtyard smoke-free. I had a huge sense of pride knowing I just helped pass a new ordinance, I felt like I just made it to the state basketball tournament or scored the winning touch down. I would like to thank everyone who has supported YLC the last 6 year I’ve been involved, I want to personally thank Heid Bainbridge, Melissa Daugherty and the SAFE coalition, without them I wouldn’t of had the experience I did.

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