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Funding Announcement for Question Why! April 20, 2009

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On December 11, 2008, Question Why was pleased to receive a letter from then Governor-Elect Perdue announcing funding from the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund.

Question Why will receive funding to continue providing TRU trainings and technical assistance for the Teen Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Initiative. This funding begins July 1, 2009 and will continue for a 3-year phase. Question Why is working with the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund on what resources and activities will be provided in the following years.

We look forward to an exciting and action-packed TRU agenda and helping to decrease teen tobacco use by promoting youth empowerment!!

Question Why Wins Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids Award April 20, 2009

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Letter to Editor by ?Y Youth Published December 17, 2008

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Going tobacco-free is a worthy gift to give

Summer Faith Griffin, Asheville • published December 17, 2008 12:15 am
Asheville Citizen-Times

The holidays are here and you can feel the anticipation in the air. It is winter and it truly is the perfect time of the year. Throughout all the joy and excitement the holidays bring, we can make the season even more enjoyable by staying tobacco-free. With more than 1,200 Americans dying every day because of tobacco use, being tobacco-free is truly the best gift you can give your loved ones as well as yourself. With so many deaths being attributed to tobacco (440,000 Americans every year) it scares me to notice that although it is a small number, some of my peers at Asheville High School are tobacco users.

The holidays are a time to be with those close to you and to build community, but with health effects ranging from emphysema to death, tobacco can split apart families and disrupt any kind of holiday cheer. I encourage the people of WNC to not only remain tobacco-free themselves, but to encourage their loved ones to do the same. Keep your holidays healthy and call 1-800-Quitnow for quitting assistance.

Summer Faith Griffin, Asheville

QY Adult Staff present at “Celebrating A “TRU” Success!” conference November 17, 2008

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During a statewide conference for NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund Teen Tobacco Use Prevention grantees, QY staff presented a session titled “Working with Youth.”  The meeting took place in Greensboro NC on October 15th and 16th.  One activity shared during QY’s session was the “Ball Activiy” described below. 

Gain or regain the attention in a room quickly and easily with the simple use of one ball.  At the beginning of a meeting, teach the participants the “Ball Game.”  Hold the ball in one hand and throw it up in the air.  When the ball is in the air, all of the participants should make noise (yell, clap, whistle, etc.).  When the ball is caught in the hand of the facilitator, they must be quiet.  Throw the ball to different heights to test their ability. When you finish you’ll have the ball in your hand and everyone will be quiet!  Keep the ball handy and continue using the “Ball Game” throughout the meeting whenever you need everyone to regroup and quiet down. It’s fun and effective!

Also, if you are looking for useful tips and strategies to recruit an active, successful group of youth to work in teen tobacco use prevention, check out the Retention and Recruitment Toolkit on this website by clicking the RESOUCES link to your right and looking under the ADULT heading. 

LeAra McKinney is honored with the Rising Youth Star Award October 21, 2008

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LeAra McKinney, Charlotte Area Youth Leader

LeAra McKinney, Charlotte Area Youth Leader

LeAra McKinney was honored with the Rising Youth Star Award from Substance Abuse and Prevention Services of the Carolinas in Charlotte, NC, on October 17, 2008.  LeAra McKinney, a Youth Empowered Solutions staff member, has been a part of the Question Why program for 3 consecutive years, working diligently on teen tobacco prevention and cessation in Mecklenburg County and North Carolina.  In that time, LeAra has emerged as a leader of this program that provides training and technical assistance to those working in tobacco prevention across the state.   In her Youth Leader position, LeAra creates and leads trainings that teach other youth about the dangers of tobacco, as well as media literacy, advocacy, and merchant education.  LeAra has led workshops at both the 2006 statewide youth summit “Play to Win, Play to Live” held in Raleigh, and the 2008 Charlotte-area female empowerment and advocacy event “TRU Beauty.”  She has worked locally with the Tobacco Reality Unfiltered community group to host events for the annual Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids event Kick Butts Day.  LeAra’s current initiative is working with the Health Department and the Smoke Free Mecklenburg Coalition to advocate to the Charlotte Area Transit System to adopt a 100% Tobacco Free Policy for the uptown transit hub.

FUTURE FUNDING OPPORTUNITY August 22, 2008

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The Health and Wellness Trust Fund has just released the Request for Proposals for Phase IV of their Teen Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Initiative. You can find the RFP at http://www.healthwellnc.com/hwtfc/htmfiles/availfunds.html. Grant awards are up to $100,000 for three years and can help sustain a strong teen tobacco use prevention movement in your North Carolina county.

Question Why East Youth Program Begins Local Smoke-Free Project May 20, 2008

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The Question Why East Youth Program, based at Willmington Health Access for Teens, has recently started a project through a mini-grant program called Real Time Community Change (RTCC).  The focus of the program is to provide determined teens with the financial means and a carefully thought out plan to make a change in their local community.  The five member youth team attended a training on Saturday, May 10th and mapped out a project that focuses on encouraging a local business to adopt a smoke-free policy.  The project is anticipated to take about eight weeks. Using the Real Time Community Change Model and their plan the youth plan to work with the owner of the selected business, as well as gather local community support via surveys and petitions. 

 

The ultimate goal is to add yet another smoke-free establishment to the city of Wilmington.  The Question Why East team worked with the Mellow Mushroom restaurant last year through RTCC; the ultimate result was the adoption of a smoke-free policy in late November.  The Mellow Mushroom also graciously donated food for the Real Time Community Change training on the 10th.  The youth team is in high spirits about their next project, and is in the process of getting it off the ground!

Strike 2 Strikes Again April 9, 2008

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Saturday April 5th, Question Why East held a ‘Final Forum’ for two teams of youth from Southwest Onslow High School in Jacksonville NC. The meeting marked the conclusion of a 6 week long RTCC (Real Time Community Change) project during which the teams implemented funded plans aimed at getting more tobacco free policies passed in the community’s restaurants and other public venues. Highlights from the team’s reports include 236 community surveys that showed a majority of support for tobacco free public places, a presentation to the Onslow County Student Government Council which resulted in a request by the Jacksonville City Mayor for more information and an online version of the survey. All of youth who participated are also part of Strike 2 of Southwest High School, a student group that works to prevent tobacco use among younger youth and other teens. They also played a major role in the passing of Onslow County Schools Tobacco Free School policy in 2003.

And the Award Goes to….. March 26, 2008

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Morgan Wittman of Durham, NC has won the 2008 International Award for the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids’ Youth Advocate of the Year Award (YAYA)! From protesting at the Altria Shareholders Meeting in New York, training youth across the state, and joining the global movement by representing tobacco issues for youth at the United Nations, Morgan is definitely already a star in the tobacco prevention movement. As a part of her award, she will be honored at a gala in Washington, DC along with other key youth from across our nation that also work to promote a healthy and tobacco free future!

This will be the third year in a row where a youth from North Carolina AND Question Why has won a national YAYA award from the Campaign Tobacco for Free Kids.

Policy Makers Luncheon March 18, 2008

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Youth from Asheville City Schools and Question Why West teamed up to host a Policy Makers Luncheon on March 14, 2008 that knocked the socks off of more than 25 policy makers from the area. Youth presented about things like tobacco-free parks, smoke-free restaurants, peer education, and a whole lot more. They wanted to make sure powerful people in their community know the facts about tobacco.

Interested in hosting an event like this and want to find out how? Give us a jingle…we can help!