Adams Youth Wins Statewide Award at Virtual Kick Butts Day
ADAMS, Mass. — Young people from Hoosac Valley High School's chapter of The 84 Movement recently attended Kick Butts Day: Youth Day of Action, a virtual event hosted by The 84 Movement, a statewide movement of youth fighting against the tobacco and vaping industries in Massachusetts.
During an awards ceremony, Tia Kareh of Adams, received the 2022 statewide Youth Leadership Award, given to one young person each year who goes above and beyond in promoting the work of The 84 Movement and embodying what it means to be a leader.
Tia, a junior at Hoosac Valley High School, was recognized for her passion in starting conversations on racial justice and as a leader in her chapter of The 84 Movement, educating her peers on the effects of tobacco use. Tia was recognized for herperseverance during the pandemic and for responding by getting involved in many school activities, including being class president and a member of the student council.
In her award acceptance speech, Tia concluded, "Each small step is leading to one big step for the future, and for a better world. My work may be small compared to a large scale but by each and every one of us putting forth what we have to offer, it will only become one big step for a better tomorrow. We may have had a rough past two years, but these do not define what the future years can hold, this is the time we all take action in what we stand by, to pave the way for the world we hope to see improvements in…So it's time to step up and take action."
Following Tia's award announcement at the event, Senator Adam Hinds congratulated Tia on her statewide Youth Leadership Award.
"I know it's not easy standing up and taking on issues in high school with peers. So all the more credit for you to be willing to do this work," he said.
The more than 200 youth and adults who attended Kick Butts Day from around the Commonwealth work to educate and mobilize young people in their communities about tobacco and vaping industry targeting and the conditions that affect youth tobacco and nicotine use.
Kick Butts Day took place at the Massachusetts State House in Boston before the pandemic; now The 84 Movement still offers a safe way to celebrate the annual event.
During another part of the Kick Butts Day event, the youth met virtually with Representative John Barrett. The group shared concerns about low public education funding and issues related to youth mental health and substance use. They also discussed how limited leisure-time activities in the community and discrimination influence youth mental health.
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