Greendale High School freshman, Alexis Mitchell, testified earlier this spring at a public hearing of the State of Wisconsin Joint Committee on Finance held at Greendale High School. Mitchell’s testimony was made to raise awareness of the importance of tobacco prevention efforts among youth. As part of her speech, she told her personal story about why she supports tobacco prevention.
Mitchell and a group of her peers at GHS have joined forces to fight corporate tobacco by revealing its secrets and deceptive practices to other teens. Their goal is to take action and create change by informing young people of the hazards of tobacco use and the manipulation tactics used by tobacco companies.
Youth Tobacco Prevention at Greendale High takes many forms. Students meet monthly to discuss ways to spread the message and share the truth about tobacco. Activities include making presentations to middle school health classes, posting a “Cups in the Fence” message at the Homecoming football game, and participating in holiday specific campaigns to spread the message of tobacco prevention. Club members have also met with local legislators.
“I am proud of our members and their drive to make a difference in their community,” said Holly Miller, teacher advisor to the group. “These students are aware of the negative effects of tobacco use and how marketing by the tobacco companies directly targets young people. Their message of prevention is outstanding!”
Greendale currently has the largest organization in the state with membership numbers fluctuating due to sports seasons. New members are welcomed on a “come when you can basis.” This practice encourages members to be active within many aspects of the school and community.