Substance abuse reduction in youth and community

I strive to bring a positive light to subjects like vaping and drugs to help other speak about their addictions to find help and comfort.

Photo of Antonio Pedro
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Written by

Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

October 7th, 2002

Help us stay in touch!

Tennessee: Cookeville, 38501 Address: 1906 Shipley Rd. Cookeville TN 38501 Phone: 931-255-3443 Email: or

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Facebook: Taking down tobacco in Putnam county

Date You Started Your Project Started

03/07/2017, the date I started doing, learning and planning events for prevention.

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?

The problem I am working against is social normality on subjects such as addiction, suicide and mental Health and the perception of those struggling with said problems. I am currently working on the tobacco aspect of the problem because big tobacco targets youth for replacement smokers via vapes. These issues exist because of the way people lust for perfection that’s is displayed in social media

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

I plan on turning the table by outreach, I am currently visiting local churches, clubs and youth groups to provide free tobacco training to inform those about the real cost of what a nicotine addiction can do. The trainings discuss the history of tobacco to the companies to new vapes. Why informing those about the health risks and providing them materials to go out and give trainings of their own will rapid spread the new perception of tobacco. I am also an ambassador for TNSTRONG (Tennessee Stop Tobaccobo and Revolutionize Our Next generation) to plan a 3 day conference solely based on new prevention tactics to reduce tobacco use within teens and adolescents.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

My motivation for my project is that I grew up with an alcoholic father and relatives who have had other addictions. Through my 16 years I lost my father due to deportation caused by DUI’s and my cousin have broken families because of other addictions. I have witnessed how addiction can tear apart families and destroy one’s morals so I hope in my work that I can teach students and peers that if they avoid addiction they won’t have to go through pain and suffering cause by addiction with their future family as I have experienced. No one should have to see drunk fights and nicotine Fits as a child.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

My name is Antonio Pedro and I attend Cookeville High School, I am passionate about spreading the word to help others stop or not start using tobacco or it’s addictive chemicals, I also strive to reduce substance abuse within my community and school or an overall healthier community.

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Step 1: the group or whom ever it may be fillsnput a form that ask for basic like adress, desired training date, time available, media capabilities, number of youth, etc. Step 2: I revive the feed back and plan accordingly Step 3: I arrive and set up, set out prizes and snacks and then introduce myself and explain what I am going to cover, then play a game, after the game I give the presentation, after the presentation I ask them to reflect what they learn and my performance and build off their constructive criticism.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

What makes my project different is that is is youth lead, based, and youth connected; I am able to ask adults for help and resources to better not only myself but the youth I am speaking to face to face. I am also state affiliated and work alongside the health department for additional information to localize the information.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

I have reached out to 26 youth and 11 adults, one youth and four adults have asked for additional information to possibly give trainings of their own. I have also reached out to many youth at a community events asking drug statistic questions to win a prize and many of which that participated learned two or more facts about addiction in Putnam county schools.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

I hope to have a couple more team members join along side me to split the working load, I also look forward to having personalized equipment like a laptop to store slides on instead of a jump drive, and have swag items such as shirts and bags. I would also like to have gift card drawing for all the students who participated in for school supplies

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Public Relations

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)
  • Hispanic, Latino/a, or Spanish origin (for example: Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuba, Salvadoran, Dominican, Colombian) (7)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Communities of color
  • Low-income community
  • LGBTQ community

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • T-Mobile page or contact
  • Word of mouth

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

Amy Gibson at Power of Putnam Jullie Meyer with TN Dept. Of Health


Join the conversation:

Photo of Suraj Bokil

Wow! Drug addiction is an extremely prevalent problem throughout society today. An abundance of substance abuse is due to a lack of awareness. This spreads a great message and this is great progress to stopping drug abuse! Great job!

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