Each year, ACT Missouri recognizes several outstanding youth in the field of substance abuse prevention. Nominations came from coalition members, teachers, school personnel, coaches and community members. The recipients of the award demonstrated outstanding integrity through the student’s involvement in school, extra-curricular and community activities.
|Jordyn Beard||Jordyn is a sophomore at Smithville High School. She is the co-chair of Clean Air Kearney as part of the local Smithville Community in Action (CIA) working on the community drive of Signature of Support.
She serves on the state wide Tobacco Free Missouri Council as the Chair for Advocacy for smoke free policy group. Jordyn is working on program development for upcoming statewide Clear Mo Air: It’s Time for Action Rally that will be held in Sikeston and Jefferson City. She is working on program materials that will enhance our Clear MO Air youth advocacy trainings. She attends bimonthly conference calls where the Tobacco Free MO group discusses goals, objectives and advocacy issues for the statewide program.
Through SADD, she got students to sign a safe driving contract for the ""It Only Takes One"" program during lunch. She will also be the chairperson for our SADD spring blood drive in April.
|Dylan Clemmons||Dylan is a senior at Buffalo High School. He has been part of the Youth Tobacco Program the past two years and through that program is a part of the Tobacco Free Missouri Youth. Dylan and other team members have taken what they have learned at trainings and used that knowledge to try and change attitudes and policies regarding tobacco among students and in their schools through various activities. They have participated in Kick Butts Day activities, created and recorded a radio PSA (which will soon be turned into a video PSA), presented to their school board, superintendent, principals, etc...
Dylan has also joined the newly formed coalition, Dallas County Live Well Alliance and is a youth representative.
|Jordan Elder||Jordan is a sophomore at Park Hill High School. As a leader of Youth With Vision, Jordon received numerous accolades, for the group, as well as for herself. She, personally was recognized by the state (ACT Missouri) by giving her a youth advocate award. She received a Presidential Service award for YWV, a Clay County Community Health in Action award for their Nicotine is Nicotine (educating on the harm of smokeless nicotine products, such as e-cigs, vapes and hookahs) campaign and, in November, attended the State Prevention Conference in which she accepted the Coalition of the Year award for the many programs and advocacy work that this group has accomplished.
Perhaps one of the greatest and most recent achievements has been her work done on tobacco issues. As an incredibly well-spoken youth, she was selected to represent YWV at a major press conference regarding increasing the age of tobacco sales from 18 to 21 in Kansas City. It was her presentation that aired on major television news stations as well as her quotes that appeared in newspaper articles, not the six adult experts that also spoke. Her words and passion served as a catalyst for the city council passage of that ordinance. Jordan has also created numerous PSA's (audio and video) for campaigns and programs through her local coalition and high school on various prevention topics. She has won State and National Broadcasting Awards for these pieces.
|Samantha Gunn||Samantha is a Junior at Calvary Lutheran High School. She is a Youth Ambassador for the 2015-2016 year, as well as her chapter’s SADD President. She has been a member of SADD since 2013, and has attended Speak Hard for the last two years. Samantha was a Video Contest Finalist for the Council for Drug Free Youth video contest in 2015. She believes that by promoting prevention, she can make her community a better place.|
|Margaret Katherine (Maggie) Helderle||Maggie is a senior at Hazelwood East. Maggie is in Student Council, is a Disney Dreamers Academy 2016 graduate and has attended Speak Hard 3 times (2016 will be her 4th time!) and has been to the NCADA Prevention Leadership Conference twice.|
|Conor Henry||Conor is a Senior at North Kansas City High School. As a leader of Youth With Vision, Conor received numerous accolades, for the group, as well as for himself. This past November, he attended the state’s prevention conference, accepting the Missouri Coalition of the Year award, on behalf of YWV, for the many programs and advocacy work that this group has accomplished. Under his reign, YWV also received a Presidential Service award and a Clay County Community Health in Action award for the Nicotine is Nicotine campaign. Conor was also instrumental in helping to form a community prevention coalition in his area- North Kansas City Teaching & Reaching Youth (NKC TRY).|
|Heavyn Jennings||Heavyn is a Senior at McKinley Classical Leadership Academy. Heavyn is an active coalition member with ForReal, participating for her fourth year. She participated in NCADA's Teen Institute for two years (on year as a teen intern) and has attended Speak Hard 3 years (this year will be her fourth!)|
|Michelle Li||Michelle is a Sophomore at Marquette High School. She serves on the Executive Board of the Rockwood Drug-Free Coalition as the only student member of the board. She is active in her SADD Chapter and is a regular attendee of Speak Hard. She has accepted a position as an intern at the Teen Institute.|
|Madeline Mills||Maddy is a Senior at Lawson High School. Maddy has been active on her local coalition, as well as the Youth Advisory Council for her local coalition. She has helped in leading prevention efforts through campaigns with her high school SADD group for the last 4 years. Maddy is not afraid to speak out for what she believes is best for her peers, and even testified at the hearing for HB 1786 during Prevention Day.|
|Lizzie Oxley||Lizzie is a Junior at Calvary Lutheran High School. She currently serves as the SADD Vice President and as a Youth Ambassador. She is passionate about preventing alcohol abuse in her community. Lizzie has held many leadership roles in her school, including the Co-Chair of the Speak Hard Activity, It Only Takes One, Safe and Sober, Red Ribbon Week, Suicide Awareness Week, and Back-to-School Dance.|
|Jake Rice||Jake is a Sophomore at Dexter High School. Jake is involved in Missouri Smoke Free on the local, district and state level. He has attended Jake has attended coalition training meetings in Sikeston, as well as in Columbia. Jake has already spent hours of his own time to promote our program district and state wide! He is a council member of the district and state coalition as well as one of our leaders at Dexter. He has also attended the Stoddard County Smoke Free Coalition meetings as well. Jake recently spoke to our local school board and gained approval to post No Tobacco signs throughout our school campus. Jake also attended the state rally in March at Jefferson City.|
|Madison Schmerbach||Madison is a Senior at Lawson High School. Madison has written numerous prevention PSA's for Youth With Vision as well as her local Youth Advisory Council, and even for Parent Up. She is always the first to volunteer to help with events and campaigns, even with a full academic and extra-curricular schedule. Madison was influential in the passage of Tobacco 21 KC in Kansas City, Missouri, as well as the continuation of the Nicotine is Nicotine Campaign. She is also active on her school's SADD Chapter, leading prevention campaigns that include those that focus on smokeless tobacco, safe driving, and anti-marijuana.|
|Emily Thomeczek||Emily is a Junior at Helias High School. Emily’s primary prevention activities focus on tobacco. As President of the Tobacco Free Missouri Youth Council, Emily has been instrumental in several of our major projects this year, starting with the development of “Clear MO Air, youth advocacy training, Clear MO Air- It’s Time for Action Rally’s’ and Game On Youth Leadership Summit that will be held this summer. Emily helps to remind the other youth council members of upcoming calls, events, responsibilities and helps hold them accountable. Last, Emily presented a power point presentation during a webinar for Tobacco Free Missouri annual meeting.
This past summer Emily had a chance to participate in Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, National Youth Symposium in Washington DC, where she had a chance to discuss tobacco issues with U.S. Senator Clair McCaskill, and U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer’s staff. She is also an active member of Helias’s SADD team by promoting good decisions.
|Zach Thornhill||Zach is a Senior at Lee’s Summit West High School. Zach has been an exceptionally dedicated member of Lee's Summit CARES' Youth Advisory Board (YAB) for the past two years. He has attended every meeting/activity in his senior year despite his busy school/extracurricular activity and is an outspoken proponent for a drug-free lifestyle in his many leadership roles. During the 2015-2016 school year, Zach presented to Lee's Summit City Council regarding prescription drug abuse, is a member of Lee's Summit CARES' anti-marijuana speakers' bureau, was interviewed by his school news channel about the harmful effects of marijuana and will be presenting a session called Protecting Our Youth: Marijuana in Missouri at this year's Speak Hard.|