Gunner is a senior at Kennett High School. He has been a member of Smokebusters/Make Your Mark/MO Clear Air from 9th to 12th grade. He has helped educate the community about the importance of a smoke free school and community. Gunner attended Kennett Middle School and High School games to discuss the effects of tobacco use. He helped provide education to South Elementary and Kennett Middle school students about the dangers of tobacco use. In 2014 the Club had a significant impact on our community when Kennett passed a law that bans smoking in all public facilities.
Youth With Vision members are involved in a variety of local and statewide advocacy efforts. For over a year, members have been advocating for Tobacco 21, a movement to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21. They are also involved in local efforts and campaigns to discourage underage drinking, the Safe Prom and Graduation Partnership, around prom and graduation season. Members have worked with local transportation companies to educate them on social host laws that would also include allowing minors to consume alcohol in their limos or party buses. Members are also involved in their local prevention coalitions and work together to develop social marketing campaigns and public service announcements to raise awareness on the harms of nicotine, tobacco, marijuana, and underage drinking. Twice a year, Youth With Vision meets with their state legislators to speak about their top priority legislative issues. In 2015, they received ACT Missouri’s Coalition of the Year award, and in May of 2016, they were the recipients of the national Tobacco Free Youth Advocates of the Year award.
Members being recognized are: Destiny Adams, Kennedea Caldwell, Casey Flynn, Carah Sage, Amber Thrasher, Jake Wolfe, Sydney Neal, Katharine Turpen, Joe Hoyt, and Madelyn Judah.
Taleasa is a junior at DeSoto High School. She is a hard worker and is willing and ready to help anytime asked. She goes above and beyond what needs to be done and volunteers to take on responsibilities other than what she is assigned. Taleasa is active in TREND, D.A.R.E., her church’s youth group, and equestrian rehabilitation therapy.
Quinton is a junior at Morgan County R-II. He is the president of the Versailles High School SADD chapter, a position he has held for the past 2 years. He is a good leader who shows responsibility and passion for what he believes in and does with this group. One of his greatest accomplishments has been recommending and implementing that his SADD Chapter hold a prevention day for students. This inaugural event had breakout sessions that youth were able to attend on a variety of prevention topics. He assisted with the prevention day last spring by presenting information to his peers on smokefree policies during a breakout session, assisting other guest speakers to their rooms, and knowing the routine for the day. This event was a huge success; one that is being repeated and enhanced at Versailles High School this spring and used by other coalitions since its inception. As a youth leader, Quinton has also attended CLEAR coalition meetings to assist with planning for future activities.
Dustin is a senior at Lebanon High School. He is a school and community leader who is motivated to make Lebanon a better place. His hard work is an example to students and adults. His perception allows him to identify and address needs quickly. Dustin has been an active leader in Lebanon Positive Choices for three years. He has coordinated drinking and driving docudramas, bullying-prevention PSAs, and school assemblies.
Paige is a senior at Lee’s Summit High School. She is a four-year member of Lee’s Summit CARES city-wide Youth Advisory Board (YAB), and a four-year member of her school-based ATOD prevention group called Tiger SMART. Through her work on the Youth Advisory Board, Paige has proven to be an excellent resource in the group’s efforts to advocate for healthy, drug-free lifestyles. When engaging her peers through the annual Celebrate Sober social media campaign, Paige’s coalition can count on her to have her finger on the pulse of the student body to guide the creation and implementation of the campaign. Paige is comfortable and competent in speaking publicly to community leaders. As a Youth Advisory Board member, she has spoken at our community marijuana forum, and represents YAB at numerous community events to promote their drug-free message.
Colby is a senior at Buffalo High School. He has been involved with the Tobacco Free Missouri Youth (TFMY) activities for the past two school years, and he is a current member of the Tobacco Free Missouri Youth Team. As a part of his TFMY activities Colby was involved in the filming of a video PSA, #servedsmokefree, that aired on KSPR 33 May 9-29, 2016. He was involved in the Clear MO Air Training in October 2016 and will be a part of the Kick Butts Day Rally at the Capitol in March 2017. Colby is also composing a new video PSA and story board to air on KSPR 33 in the spring of 2017. He will also be part of a group that will present to local city government about the absence of a city tobacco policy and his school board about the lack of enforcement of the school’s comprehensive tobacco free policy. Colby was a founding and faithful member of the newly formed coalition, Dallas County Live Well Alliance. The coalition meets bi-monthly, and Colby has been attending meetings for the past two school years. As a part of the coalition Colby was involved in designing educational materials for the Marijuana Prevention Grant the coalition received in last spring and rgw official logo for the Dallas County Live Well Alliance. Colby has also been involved in composing and presenting letters to local business leaders and community members to increase membership of the Dallas County Live Well Alliance.
Hope is a junior at Morgan County R-II High School. She is an outstanding prevention leader. Hope is a member of the Versailles High School SADD chapter. For two years she has served as the vice president of the group. She assisted with Prevention Day last spring by presenting smokefree information to her peers during a breakout session, guiding other guest speakers to their rooms, and knowing the routine for the day. This fall she helped to distribute red ribbons during red ribbon week and organized photo opportunities for the youth who dressed for each day’s theme.
At Versailles High School she has participated in Tobacco Free Youth team for two years. She attended the training, presented smokefree education to middle and high school youth and adult community groups, recorded public service announcements, read announcements about smokefree and tobacco risks at community events, and attended the statewide smokefree rally for Kick Butt’s Day. Additionally she collected signatures of support for smokefree policies at ballgames and the August Back to School event.
As a youth leader, she attended strategic planning to assist CLEAR coalition with the knowledge of their prevention areas of need and planning for future activities.
Samantha is a senior at Calvary Lutheran High School. She implemented a Suicide Prevention Week the past two years. Last year, she organized a SADD Day; a half-day of prevention information and activities for the school because students were unable to attend Speak Hard, the state SADD conference. She has served as a MYAA Youth Ambassador for two years, her school’s SADD president this past year, and has overseen such projects as Red Ribbon Week and It Only Takes One. She has attended the last two Prevention Days as a youth representative where she was able to visit with her legislators.
Zachary is a freshman at Morgan County R-1. He has been a member of Tobacco Free Youth for two years. He also works with Morgan County CLEAR and has been a member of T.O.P. for 2 years. Zach is an outgoing, kind, and compassionate student. He is a positive influence to his peers and is always willing to help others. Zach has strong viewpoints on substance use is not afraid to vocalize this to others.