Ending and preventing nicotine addiction in Amery High School
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748 75th St. Amery, WI 54001
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Date You Started Your Project Started
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Start-Up (first few activities have happened)
1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
We are helping students of our local high school overcome nicotine addictions in a safe and confidential space. A survey conducted in the spring of 2019, at Amery High School, a shocking 58% of students reported using e-cigarette products. With the recent discovery of the harmful and possibly fatal effects of e-cigarettes making news, it's more important than ever that students be given an opportunity to be educated and potentially rehabilitate.
2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
We have teamed up with many community members, businesses, and school staff to provide support and mentor ship to willing students. We have also contacted our county health department, and hospital and clinic for resources for the Lunch & Learns we are conducting. These Lunch & Learns will help educate and prevent the usage of e-cigarettes, as well as demonstrate how to be a support system for peers. We will have speakers ranging from doctors, pharmacists, and ex-smokers to share with students their stories and how to help end the vaping/juuling epidemic.
3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?
Following the news announcement of the 5 deaths in the U.S. due to vaping/juuling, I was shocked to find that my school and community wasn't doing anything proactive to prevent an Amery resident from being the next casualty. I saw the amount of denial vaping users had towards the effects of their addiction, as well as the fear of not being able to quit. I felt that a student shouldn't have to die or face life long consequences for a decision made when they were young and uneducated about the effects of their actions. Creating a way for students to end their addictions in a safe, confidential, and supportive environment was the only option in my eyes.
4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”
5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
When a student visits our website to learn more about beginning their quitting journey, they find a tab labeled "Get Help." This tab takes you to a list of interviewed and approved staff members who are willing to serve as mentors. These mentors contact information and signed consent to confidentiality form are embedded in their names as well. Students may contact these staff members to begin their next step to rehabilitation. Outside of the quitting process, there is the Lunch & Learn's featuring different medical figures and ex-smokers. These presentations will be held publicly in our library with no RSVP required. Students and staff alike may attend these presentations to educate themselves without admitting to an addiction or even having one.
6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
Our program is entirely unique as it is specific and sincere to our school community. Nothing else is being done in Amery Wisconsin to battle the growing epidemic of teen vaping and juuling. This failure to be proactive on the end of the adults and administration has left the responsibility on the student body itself. We are a student led organization of two founders (a senior and a sophomore,) who are pioneering this process and how student welfare is to be treated in our school district. The confidentiality, protection from suspensions and citations, and sincerity we offer is unparalleled.
7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
Our impact is in the beginning stages where we are collecting community support and funding before we engage with our first Lunch & Learn or student. We are currently taking on fundraising to begin producing business cards (as per the request of the Amery Hospital and Clinic), brochures and flyers (as requested by the Amery Public Library and Chet Johnson's Drug), and handouts for the education of students in our school.
8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
We have a 5k on the horizon for the spring of 2020. We also are building connections within our county for speakers to visit our school. We are also just beginning selling Worlds Finest Chocolates for funding.
9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?
10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?
How did you hear about this challenge?