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My Journey with YAHL by Mayra Amezcua

Hi, my name is Mayra and I’m from Howe Public Schools, I am currently 14 years old. I’m a part of an organization called Youth Action for Health Leadership or YAHL. I joined YAHL to try something new. When I joined I was hoping to gain leadership skills, better public speaking skills, and earn scholarships.

YAHL works with two campaigns. One of those two campaigns is called CounterAct Tobacco which tries to end tobacco preemption and stop teens from being able to easily access vapes and/or tobacco products. Vaping is unhealthy for many reasons, including it’s poisonous, can cause lung cancer, and it’s addictive. Many kids are in danger because vapes are easily accessible and they come in appealing colors and flavors. Through YAHL we try to improve tobacco laws so we can make it harder for youth to access and get ahold of these tobacco products. As a YAHL member, I raise awareness and educate people.

The other campaign YAHL members work on is Elevate Student Health. Elevate Student Health is trying to provide more physical activity, healthy eating, and safe water to drink at school. Eating unhealthy food is common, many high school students work or are very busy and don’t feel like cooking. But, eating healthy doesn’t have to mean eating salads and drinking water for every meal. Have you ever felt tired after eating at a fast food restaurant or really greasy food? Try trading it out for a more healthy option. As a YAHL member, we help to get healthier options at school. As a YAHL member, I will raise awareness and let people know there are simple options that can make a big difference in your health. YAHL members in my community can be an example and try to eat healthier and teach their young loved ones how to eat healthily. 

It’s sad, but it’s the honest truth that many kids in my generation vape or eat unhealthily and some even do both. I strive to inform everyone I come in contact with about tobacco and unhealthy eating. We want a healthy and outgoing generation.

My Journey with YAHL by Mayra Amezcua

Hi, my name is Mayra and I’m from Howe Public Schools, I am currently 14 years old. I’m a part of an organization called Youth Action for Health Leadership or YAHL. I joined YAHL to try something new. When I joined I was hoping to gain leadership skills, better public speaking skills, and earn scholarships. […]

READ MORE

Working Hard to Make a Difference by Essence Felder

Hello, I’m Essence Felder. I currently live in OKC, Oklahoma and I’m 16. YAHL stands for Youth Action for Health Leadership. YAHL’s main goal is to better youth’s lives as a whole, be it through CounterAct or Elevate. I decided to join because I loved that YAHL is not only pointing out problems in the […]

READ MORE

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

Working Hard to Make a Difference by Essence Felder

Hello, I’m Essence Felder. I currently live in OKC, Oklahoma and I’m 16. YAHL stands for Youth Action for Health Leadership. YAHL’s main goal is to better youth’s lives as a whole, be it through CounterAct or Elevate. I decided to join because I loved that YAHL is not only pointing out problems in the community, but they are actively trying to fix them. A couple of these problems are: hard to access water, wide-spread nicotine/tobacco products in schools (vape, e-cigs, ect.) and little to no healthy options at lunch. All of these problems, and more, YAHL can help to change for the better.

Water is a vital part of being healthy; especially during the hotter parts of the school year. Water not being widely available during school makes a lot of students dehydrated. In that state, it is very hard to learn. Elevate Student Health meets with people who can fix that (principals, etc.).

Nicotine products are all over schools. Everyone my age either knows someone who used nicotine/tobacco products or uses them themselves. CounterAct wanted to take power away from “Big Tobacco”. They want to make sure that teens don’t have any access to any nicotine products.

Schools don’t have healthy options anymore, or if they do they are unappealing. YAHL wants to make sure that every school has good healthy food. As the saying goes, “if you eat well, you play well, and you work well.” 

YAHL sees the problems with Oklahoma and works hard to fix them. Do you?

My Journey with YAHL by Mayra Amezcua

Hi, my name is Mayra and I’m from Howe Public Schools, I am currently 14 years old. I’m a part of an organization called Youth Action for Health Leadership or YAHL. I joined YAHL to try something new. When I joined I was hoping to gain leadership skills, better public speaking skills, and earn scholarships. […]

READ MORE

Working Hard to Make a Difference by Essence Felder

Hello, I’m Essence Felder. I currently live in OKC, Oklahoma and I’m 16. YAHL stands for Youth Action for Health Leadership. YAHL’s main goal is to better youth’s lives as a whole, be it through CounterAct or Elevate. I decided to join because I loved that YAHL is not only pointing out problems in the […]

READ MORE

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