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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 teen vaping. 

Why is teen vaping a problem? Using nicotine in adolescence can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. With YAHL we are trying to take power out of the big tobacco company’s hands. 

YAHL also has another campaign called Elevate Student Health. What Elevate Student Health is trying to do is change school policies so school youth have access to healthy foods, physical activity, and safe, clean water.

Teens, especially between the ages of 14 -17 are at high risk to start vaping, and children between the ages of 5 to 6 are at the highest risk of becoming overweight. As YAHL members we want to help better these problems!

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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. […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 help my school and community for the future. I attended a summit for the YAHL Leadership Team, and while at the Leadership Team summit I’ve had opportunities to learn more about how I can help my school and community. 

While at the Leadership Team Summit, I have been able to grow as a person. YAHL has helped me to hone in on my skills, such as public speaking, networking, leadership, and more. The opportunities YAHL has given me are endless. For my college application for example, I can use that I’ve been on the Leadership Team for YAHL, along with the amount of community service hours volunteering with YAHL has provided. The experience YAHL has given me will help me be the best, and do the best I can do. The main reason why I joined YAHL was to help regulate tobacco usage among youth and have better health options for my school, Coalgate High School. Many Coalgate High School students have been addicted to or still are addicted to drugs and alcohol, and there are people in our community that have gotten cancer from the local water source. 

If I can help save my school, the future students can live a better life than the youth before them. They will have better and safer water, their physical activity will be better, and they will have healthier options in the cafeteria as well. I want to bring awareness for the people of Oklahoma so they can make a difference in their lives too.

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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. […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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. […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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. 

Most schools don’t have a policy for having healthy food options, testing their waters, and physical activity for teens. Teens are supposed to have at least 60 minutes of physical activity everyday and schools aren’t encouraging it. Teens are also getting targeted by tobacco companies again by selling flavored vape products by doing the same thing that they did years ago by saying they are a healthier way to smoke. They are trying to get people addicted at a young age so they get more money. 

In the near future we can help give healthier life styles to youth, and get clean water for the schools that don’t have it. We will also stop tobacco companies from targeting youth with vaping products. Tobacco companies need to have a strict policy for who they sell their products to or else they will always keep making new products to sell to teens. Yahl is an amazing program and I believe that it will make a huge difference in the near future.

Differences it can make: if youth don’t have any tobacco vaping products then schools don’t need the smoke detectors in bathrooms. That would let them have extra spending money for getting waters tested, and healthier food options in our cafeterias. If we eat healthier and have more physical activities then we will have more energy and will be able to focus more to preform better in school. 

You can help by joining the YAHL team and recruiting other high schoolers to help grow our team!

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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. […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE