I am Lacey Laymon, a senior at Keys High School, and I have been a member of Youth Action for Health Leadership (YAHL) for two years. Currently, I serve on the state leadership team.
YAHL actively engages in two youth-led campaigns: Elevate Student Health, which focuses on maintaining the health of our schools, and CounterAct Tobacco, which aims to eliminate youth tobacco use in the community. Throughout my involvement in YAHL, I have had numerous opportunities, including delivering presentations to local boards in my community to raise awareness about youth tobacco use. Additionally, I have met with my principal to address outdated wellness policies and participated in an event promoting healthier eating habits among students.
One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had through YAHL was attending the Leadership Team Summit in Oklahoma City. This event allowed me to develop public speaking, leadership and networking skills. More importantly it provided an opportunity to form lifelong friendships. As a part of the leadership team, I had the privilege of visiting the Oklahoma State Capitol where I engaged in discussions about YAHL with policymakers and representatives. Our conversations centered around our two campaigns and how those in positions to effect direct change in our state could contribute.
In the upcoming year my goal is to be more involved in YAHL and actively recruit more individuals to join the organization. I initially joined YAHL for the free Subway sandwiches at our school’s training. I have witnessed the positive impact it had on both myself and others. My experience transformed me into a passionate advocate as it opened my eyes to the importance of having a voice in my community and contributing to the overall health of my state.