My name is Rhianna Dumas, and I’m 14. I was born in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and stayed there until I was 7; now I live in Oklahoma City. This past year I joined a program called YAHL. YAHL stands for Youth Action for Health Leadership, and we work with TSET to get better health choices at school. For example, getting the water tested, having healthier options at lunch and 60 minutes of activity daily for students. We also work to stop Big Tobacco from targeting teens. I joined YAHL because I knew that stopping Big Tobacco was important to me.
Stopping Big Tobacco is important to me because I’ve had family members use tobacco, and the journey of healing from it was very hard. The tobacco campaign, CounterAct Tobacco, will help me accomplish my goal because we’ll be collecting surveys on people’s opinions about tobacco use in teens, which can be used as data. The trainings we attend have helped my goal because it allowed me to become an official member and get one step closer to helping my community more.
My work toward my personal goal will help my community slowly work its way to being tobacco free. There will eventually be less vaping in schools with my efforts. I hope to educate parents, who will hopefully open their eyes and see how dangerous tobacco truly is. Others in my community will finally be heard if they have the same thoughts as me. More voices can be heard and more people can be encouraged to make a change. Others in the community can join me in the work by spreading the word about what we’re doing and by using their voice like I am.