Five Hamilton County high school students have dubbed themselves The Action Five.
The group started a chapter of VOICE Indiana, which is a statewide initiative to engage, educate and empower teens on maintaining a tobacco-free lifestyle.
“The most important thing to me about being a core team member of VOICE Indiana is that I have the ability to educate my peers about vaping and help them learn that what they are doing to their bodies today can affect their futures,” said Guerin Catholic senior Lucy Schenk, a Westfield resident and Action Five member. “We created a QR code with a link to a Google survey asking students from Hamilton County to share with us their story about how tobacco has affected them, whether that be directly or through family/friends.
“We posted this QR code around our schools, on our social media and handed out flyers to have participants take the survey.”
Schenk will participate, along with her four other core team members from Hamilton County, in the Rotary Club’s Dec. 1 meeting.
“We will be presenting our ‘sweet deceptions’ program there,” Schenk said. “Our project for the Nov. 19 Great American Smokeout is that we will be taking those responses from our Google survey and creating a banner mural to display all the stories. With the use of symbols and images, we have a group from Noblesville High School who will be designing our mural for us.
“After the mural is created, we will make copies and ask to hang the murals in most of the high schools in Hamilton County.”
Westfield High School sophomore Alana Halsted is another Action Five and core member.
“What is important to me is helping those who use tobacco know the dangers and get help with quitting,” she said.
Halsted participated in Red Ribbon Week, which began Oct. 26.
“I participated by telling my friends and other students about what we were doing and how they could participate (and) I shared my story as an example on a video so others could feel more welcome to join and share their stories,” Halsted said.
Other Action Five members are Nicole Liu, Noblesville High School; Isabel Jenson, Carmel High School; and Gabe Anderson, Westfield High School.
Other Action Squad members are Alison Beckwith, Hamilton Southeastern High School and Isabella Miller, Noblesville High School.
Anyone interested in joining the Hamilton County VOICE Action Squad can contact Stacy London. For more, visit breatheeasyhamiltoncounty.com.