News and Events

Levy County Students Working Against Tobacco Hold Their 11th Annual Summit!
May 17, 2018

On May 17, 2018, the Levy County Chapter of Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) held their 11th annual education and team-building youth summit at Camp Kulaqua in High Springs, FL. This year, the theme of the Levy SWAT Summit was advocacy and celebrating accomplishments. Florida’s SWAT program is celebrating a 20-year anniversary is this year, so Levy youth wanted to celebrate 20 years of accomplishments and learn more about the history of the SWAT program and how they can continue the legacy of change.

The morning started out with a keynote speaker, Samuel Allen. Sam shared his personal journey with advocacy and inspired the group with his enthusiasm for making change and being true to who you are. He engaged the youth in interactive games focused on tobacco prevention milestones and facts about the tobacco industry’s history of targeting youth. Sam also engaged the youth with some creative teambuilding games and problem-solving activities.

For the afternoon sessions, SWAT members learned about the history of the Florida SWAT program and they went through a timeline of SWAT accomplishments and milestones over the past 20 years, both statewide and locally. Then, the group engaged in two creative advocacy activities. The first activity focused on recording social media video messages with creative visual aids and the theme of “Happy Birthday SWAT.” The second activity was an art advocacy session focused on painting small rocks with tobacco free messages. The rocks were then taken back to the students’ communities to be hidden in parks and other public areas for people to find.

Finally, the students celebrated SWAT’s birthday with some cupcakes and a special recognition ceremony for SWAT’s leaders, Youth Advocacy Board members, graduating seniors, and SWAT advisors. The day ended up being rainy and gray outside, but the 55 youth in attendance lit up the conference center with creativity and colorful art. They left the meeting inspired to work on accomplishing more tobacco prevention goals in Levy County and adding to SWAT’s timeline of achievements for years to come.    

If you would like more information about joining the Levy Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) program or starting a school or community club, please contact Kristina Zachry, Community Health Advocate for Levy County and SWAT Program Coordinator at KZachry@QuitDoc.com or 352-577-4309.