My Journey with YAHL by Mayra Amezcua
Hi, my name is Mayra and I’m from Howe Public Schools, I am currently 14 years old. I’m a part of an organization called Youth Action for Health Leadership or YAHL. I joined YAHL to try something new. When I joined I was hoping to gain leadership skills, better public speaking skills, and earn scholarships.
YAHL works with two campaigns. One of those two campaigns is called CounterAct Tobacco which tries to end tobacco preemption and stop teens from being able to easily access vapes and/or tobacco products. Vaping is unhealthy for many reasons, including it’s poisonous, can cause lung cancer, and it’s addictive. Many kids are in danger because vapes are easily accessible and they come in appealing colors and flavors. Through YAHL we try to improve tobacco laws so we can make it harder for youth to access and get ahold of these tobacco products. As a YAHL member, I raise awareness and educate people.
The other campaign YAHL members work on is Elevate Student Health. Elevate Student Health is trying to provide more physical activity, healthy eating, and safe water to drink at school. Eating unhealthy food is common, many high school students work or are very busy and don’t feel like cooking. But, eating healthy doesn’t have to mean eating salads and drinking water for every meal. Have you ever felt tired after eating at a fast food restaurant or really greasy food? Try trading it out for a more healthy option. As a YAHL member, we help to get healthier options at school. As a YAHL member, I will raise awareness and let people know there are simple options that can make a big difference in your health. YAHL members in my community can be an example and try to eat healthier and teach their young loved ones how to eat healthily.
It’s sad, but it’s the honest truth that many kids in my generation vape or eat unhealthily and some even do both. I strive to inform everyone I come in contact with about tobacco and unhealthy eating. We want a healthy and outgoing generation.