(via The Coalition press release)

Kellen Kruk, junior at Pineywoods Community Academy and teen ambassador for the SAY WHAT! tobacco prevention program, helped lead a recent tobacco prevention Action Summit in Kemah, Texas.

Kellen, along with other leaders, trained more than 200 youth about leadership, tobacco prevention, and how to make a difference in their own community.

“It was a very energized event. This was my first time being on the other side of the spectrum and being the one presenting the information. This experience was awesome and now that I know what it’s like, I’m ready for Say What Summer Conference,” Kellen said.

J.P. Heath, Youth Coordinator for The Coalition, Inc., said he was impressed with Kellen's hard work.

“I am really proud of Kellen’s dedication to tobacco prevention and his passion to teach other youth about the dangers of tobacco,” he said.

Say What! stands for Students, Adults and Youth Working Hard Against Tobacco and is a state-wide movement with the goal of unifying the youth of Texas under the common goal of making Texans healthier regarding tobacco use.

The Coalition, Inc. secured the Tobacco Prevention & Control Coalition (TPCC) grant from Texas Department of State Health Services in 2014 with the goal of preventing and reducing the harmful use of tobacco products in rural areas like East Texas, where tobacco-related health problems are more prevalent.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, statistics show that each day in the United States, more than 3,200 kids under the age of 18 smoke their first cigarette.

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