Youth Leadership Development

Practicing leadership skills is shown to have profound effects throughout life. The YPRC maintains, facilitates, and supports a diverse Student Advisory Board. The Student Advisory Board has a strong voice and is a guiding force for all programming efforts, including resource development and advocacy. Student Advisory Board applications can be found here.


 

Youth Leadership Program Spotlights

What is the Truth Initiative?

Truth Initiative is America’s largest nonprofit public health organization dedicated to a future where tobacco and nicotine addiction are things of the past. The Truth's mission is to achieve a culture where young people reject smoking, vaping, and nicotine.[1]

[2]Truth Ambassadors: The Truth Ambassador program is a year-long, paid leadership program for one of the most successful public health campaigns in history. Ambassadors work with staff to recruit their peers, share stories and experiences on tobacco and vaping control issues, and advocate for campus, local, state, and national decision-makers to establish tobacco and vape-free communities. 

Truth Ambassadors work hard at the forefront of creating change – educating their peers by creating innovative ways to get them involved in this movement.  Ambassadors are team players working with fellow Ambassadors on recruitment, storytelling, and advocacy to create successful projects. The position also requires long-term commitment and lots of motivation. Through creative problem-solving and hard work, Ambassadors spread the truth while allowing others to be agents of change. Ambassadors act as passionate and innovative leaders working to create change and improve people's everyday lives.

One objective of Truth Ambassadors includes creating events and opportunities to educate peers on tobacco-related issues and recruiting them to join the movement. Examples include one-on-0ne meetings, small local events, promoting campaigns and events like Truth’s annual Moment of Action, and uplifting previous Ambassador work.

Likewise, Ambassadors utilize storytelling to influence and inspire. Ambassadors will create ways (events, projects, discussions) to gather and share stories. This includes stories of people who may have a history with tobacco and vaping nicotine and/or are at the forefront of making tobacco and vaping nicotine a past trend. Ambassadors will also meet with stakeholders (legislators, administrators, businesses) to educate them on our campaigns and urge them to act (i.e., declare that vaping nicotine is a mental and public health issue).

Ambassadors must be passionate about tobacco and vaping and/or intersectional campaign-related issues (social justice, environment, mental health), and commit to 1-2 years as an ambassador with full participation in the program. Other requirements include but are not limited to working up to 10 hours per week and briefings with key staff members and other youth activists, attending campaign and other signature events, and serving as spokespeople when necessary. 

[3]Participants must be at least 18 years of age to participate. Strong public speaking skills, advocacy experience, and outgoing personality are other desirable Ambassador qualities. Ambassadors will be paid a stipend, and Truth will cover all expenses related to travel. [4]

Truth Community Leaders: Truth Community Leaders are passionate, friendly, motivated people who will represent Truth in their communities to fight for social justice and put an end to smoking. Community Leaders are young adults, students, and community members who stand against tobacco use to create tobacco-free communities. 

Community Leaders are passionate about community involvement and skilled in event planning. As a part of a unique team of other community members and leaders, Community Leaders also engage others at events, helping to share the Truth message and give away merchandise. Through creativity and social influence, Community Leaders spread the Truth message and drive policy change in their communities.

The fundamental objectives of Truth Community Leaders include increasing awareness and response to tobacco issues among local decision makers and influencers, leading the recruitment and mobilization of young adult volunteers, and developing local anti-tobacco campaigns.

Applicants are required to live near Washington, DC or Atlanta, GA. A paid stipend is also available. [5]

[1] “Our Mission,” Truth Initiative, accessed June 27, 2022, https://truthinitiative.org/who-we-are/our-mission.

[2] Truth Initiative Youth Our Mission, n.d., photograph, n.d.

[3] Truth Community Leader, n.d., photograph, n.d.

[4] “Truth Ambassador.” truth, June 16, 2022. https://www.thetruth.com/take-action/form/truth-ambassador application. 

[5] “Truth® Community Leader Application,” truth, September 23, 2020, https://www.thetruth.com/take-action/form/community-leader-application.



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