My name is Miguel, and I am a junior at Howe Public Schools and a member of Youth Action for Health Leadership (YAHL). I have worked with other YAHL members on different campaign opportunities. I started getting involved in YAHL by going to the YAHL training at my school in the fall. At the training we learned about the two campaigns Elevate Student Health and CounterAct Tobacco. These campaigns work to update school and state policies for health issues in Oklahoma.
YAHL events take place at my school and in my community. It’s amazing that YAHL is in the schools because that’s where a lot of teens vape. It is also great because we can bring many necessary changes to the school like healthier food or clean water. I became more involved in YAHL by collecting surveys for the campaigns at a booth we hosted during our local fall carnival. At the carnival, some people were excited to take the survey and others seemed uninterested. I overcame this by talking to them more about why I care about the issues. Educating the public about these health issues helped them care more about making Oklahoma a healthier place.
I also made some friends through the Leadership Team Summit in June. The Leadership Team Summit is an opportunity to learn more leadership skills like public speaking, networking and confidence.
YAHL has helped me step out of my comfort zone and has motivated me to want to make changes to make a better tomorrow for our generation and future generations.