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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Sustainable Youth Involvement in Prevention/Advocacy

Danny Saggese, MBA, Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation, 701 East Franklin Street, Suite 501, Richmond, VA 23219 and Jeffrey Jordan, BS, Rescue Social Change Group, 121 Broadway Suite 242, San Diego, CA 92101.


- To learn youth involvement strategies to ensure youth are well trained/educated, while achieving consistently high volunteer involvement in different communities.

Typically, tobacco prevention programs train hundreds of youth and only see 10% or less of them consistently participating. Y St. has successfully implemented methods to increase sustained youth participation (SYP) while dealing with high tobacco industry presence (PM based in Virginia). SYP increases the impact of advocacy efforts and delivers educational messages.


To build a comprehensive SYP model, Y St. used: marketing, training, volunteer management, online communities, and street messaging.

Y St. launched in Oct-04 and has experienced significant SYP since. Ydouthink uses a combination of street marketing, online communities, and leadership models to maintain youth involvement and new participants. Using a simple online community, Y St. has maintained an open discussion with 400+ members, many of whom visit the site daily. SYP is unprecedented. With similar resources as other county/statewide programs, Y St. has established a novel system to manage, track, and sustain youth participation.


Y St. continues to see SYP. Weekly, 20 different youth volunteer at 10 different events around the state. Since its launch, over 400 youth have volunteered at events over 1,200 times within one year. Y St. has data for different regions:

Northern - Mostly suburban outside of DC / Central - Medium City with surrounding suburbs, high urban populations / SE - Coastal community with many geographic obstacles / SW - Rural community, towns as small as 5,000 being reached

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