On March 20 WellShare’s Somali youth program, The Young Achievers celebrated Kick Butts Day, a national day of activism to empower youth to stand up and speak out against Big Tobacco, organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Kick Butts Day has grown into an international movement where teachers, youth leaders and health advocates hold over 1,000 events to raise awareness of tobacco use and ways to help inform policy change.
Over 200 students and staff participated in the March event and had a great time signing the Kick Butts Day banner and pledging “no” to tobacco. Messages of “smoking is not cool!” “JUULs aren’t cool!” “Stop smoking!” could be heard from the hallways. One student stated, “I’m really happy you are doing this event again this year because it was like really cool and fun for us.” The banner attracted the youth’s attention and generated discussion among the youth. One teacher stated, “This is so great that students can have messages like this because my grandmother died of lung cancer and I am always afraid for our youth.”