Teens advocate against tobacco at the Indiana Statehouse

News Release

WARSAW — The Kosciusko VOICE team visited the Indiana Statehouse in downtown Indianapolis Wednesday for Youth Advocacy Day.

They joined teens from across Indiana who are passionate about empowering their peers to say no to tobacco and even met with state leaders.

Local VOICE groups and young people from across Indiana came together at the Statehouse to “Link Up” (the theme of the day) with their local representatives and other adult advocates to work towards the common goal of preventing youth tobacco use.

Each VOICE group brought paper links that they collected, and each individual link serves as a pledge from youth in their communities. Red links represent hope that they or a loved one will commit to a tobacco and nicotine-free life; White links represent a pledge to live tobacco-free; and finally, Blue links help collect stories of how young people made a difference in their community. An example of one of these stories of impact and change is from VOICE Youth Ambassador, Suhita Chintalacharuvu.

“I chose to be here today because I had seen the dangers of tobacco and drug usage in my
family and school and was determined to work towards change for the future of my community,” Chintalacharuvu said.

“I am committed to this work with VOICE because tobacco usage is one of the most pressing issues for the youth in Indiana, and VOCIE’s work has the great potential
to empower students to fight the dangers of tobacco and drug use” she said.