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YAHL Impacts My Community for the Better by Carina Chen

Hello, my name is Carina Chen. I am fourteen years old, I am from Oklahoma, and last, but definitely not least, I am a member of the leadership team at YAHL. YAHL stands for Youth Action for Health and Leadership and they are a health activist group working towards two campaigns: Counteract Tobacco and Elevate Student Health. These campaigns collect surveys and communicate with lawmakers and school administration to change policies to help restrict tobacco usage in youth and encourage them to make healthy decisions. I originally decided to join YAHL so I could be more present in my community and participate in another extracurricular activity. However, now that I have become a leadership team member, I have gained that and so much more such as confidence, social skills, friends, and connections. Plus, the health activism threat YAHL works on is important in the case that a large percentage of Oklahoma youth is unhealthy and use tobacco products. In future years, I hope I can use the tools that YAHL has given me to really make an impact and better my community and its health.

I want to see change within my community because everyday I see many of my peers making bad choices with their life and I am sad to think of how many opportunities are going down the drain due to the lack of knowledge and encouragement. YAHL has helped me accomplish many of my goals. For example, after collecting surveys and talking to people about this campaign I have gained confidence in public speaking and talking to strangers. To make a bigger impact on my community I would like to go on to give a partner presentation to my district’s school board and talk to some of the state’s legislatures.

While my personal goals benefit me and give me motivation, they also help to uplift my community. For example, when I gained experience talking to strangers it helped me to collect more surveys, thus getting more data to convince lawmakers and the people in charge. The others in my community also benefit by being restricted from inhaling toxic chemicals that come from tobacco products, and being provided with healthy options that they can fine tune to habits and routines when they become adults. They can also be benefitted by gaining social skills and confidence if they join this program. They can join if their high school already offers it or they can request it as well! I would definitely recommend this program to anyone as not only can they improve themselves, they also uplift their community simultaneously. 

Why I Joined YAHL by Deiondra Howard

I am Deiondra Howard. I’m from Coalgate, Oklahoma and I’m currently 16 years old. I chose to join YAHL because I want to improve my community. As a teen, in high school, I am exposed to a lot of vaping on a daily basis. I think that YAHL can help to improve the problem of […]

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Making a Difference in Coalgate, Oklahoma by Brecken Hunt

Hello everyone, my name is Brecken, I live in Atoka, but go to school in Coalgate, and I am 16. I work with a student-led organization called YAHL. YAHL stands for Youth Action for Health Leadership. I joined for two reasons. First, I wanted to have a bit of fun, and second, I want to […]

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YAHL Impacts My Community for the Better by Carina Chen

Hello, my name is Carina Chen. I am fourteen years old, I am from Oklahoma, and last, but definitely not least, I am a member of the leadership team at YAHL. YAHL stands for Youth Action for Health and Leadership and they are a health activist group working towards two campaigns: Counteract Tobacco and Elevate […]

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Being a YAHL Leadership Team Member – Casey Stewart

Hello, I’m Casey Stewart from Wynnewood High School. YAHL was introduced to our school around January of 2022. When I heard about YAHL, I initially signed up because I wanted prizes from the prize store, but during events and trainings I have grown to love everything about the program. My absolute favorite thing I have […]

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Why Health Activism Matters to Me by Lauren Pinner

Hi my name is Lauren Pinner, I live in OKC, and I am 14 years old. Last year I joined the YAHL program at my school. Yahl is a youth leadership program, and we are trying to make Oklahoma a healthier place. I decided to join the yahl program because it has amazing goals and I believe that it can truly make a difference for our future generations. Health activism matters to me because many kids aren’t taught healthy habits at a young age, and teens are getting targeted by tobacco companies.

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Why I Joined the YAHL Team

Hello, my name is Karli Everett from Chelsea, Ok and I’m 14 years old. I am apart of a program called  YAHL. YAHL is a youth led organization to help teens have better physical activity and healthy foods along with having clean drinking water. I hope to gain more leadership skills along with better public […]

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YAHL Leadership Team Prepares for Summit

This June a group of YAHL leaders from around Oklahoma will meet for four days in OKC at the first annual YAHL Leadership Team Summit. These students applied for this select opportunity for a variety of reasons, but they are united by a passion for the health of themselves and their peers. Here’s a look […]

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What I Learned about the CounterAct Tobacco Campaign

By Natiya Ellison My name is Natiya Ellison, and I go to Southeast high school. I am in the 9th grade. This is my first year with the YAHL program. I will be talking about the CounterAct Tobacco campaign and the policies that affect youth. The YAHL staff educated us about tobacco policies during our training. […]

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The Damages of Tobacco

Hello, my name is Grace Burton. I live in Stilwell, Oklahoma, and I am a junior at Stilwell High School. YAHL stands for Youth Action for Health Leadership. YAHL is a program that promotes a tobacco-free, healthy lifestyle by promoting comprehensive retail licensing for vapes & strengthening school wellness policies. What I hope to get […]

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Checotah High School Sophomore Keeps Active with YAHL

My name is Aiyana Brewer. I will be a 2025 graduate from Checotah High School. Like my school experience, this is my first year with YAHL. As you may know, YAHL is a Program of TSET for Health Leadership. Youth Action for Health Leadership (YAHL) helps communities and teens live a healthier lifestyle such as […]

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