Noblesville High School grad shares national award


A recent Noblesville High School graduate is among the youth ambassadors from a statewide youth organization that encourages teens to lead tobacco-free lifestyles that was recognized by the Indiana Dept. of Health. 

The state agency recently recognized VOICE Indiana, who were honored as 2023 Group Youth Advocates of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for their advocacy efforts toward a tobacco-free future. Noblesville resident Nicole Liu was among four youth ambassadors who represented the organization at a ceremony May 18 in Washington, D.C. 

“We are thrilled that VOICE Indiana members were chosen as Group Youth Advocates of the Year,” stated Miranda Spitznagle, director of the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Division at the Indiana Dept. of Health. “VOICE Indiana is a model organization that demonstrates the power that youth voices can have in advocating for the future and health of young people, and we are pleased to support their work as part of our youth engagement initiative. These four exceptional young advocates further exemplify the qualities of a new generation of leaders who are leading the way toward a healthier, tobacco-free future.”

Other than Liu, youth ambassadors from other high schools across the state also represented VOICE Indiana at the ceremony, including Brenna Bastin from New Palestine High School; Suhita Chintachalaruvu from Hamilton Southeastern High School; and Hannah Martin from F. J. Reitz High School in Evansville. Liu was also recognized May 9 during a ceremony at the Hamilton County Government and Judicial Center in Noblesville, where she received the Hamilton County Youth Service award. 

Liu said she considers her work with VOICE Indiana as her biggest accomplishment. VOICE has provided her with opportunities to advocate for better tobacco control policies by speaking to lawmakers, schools and the media, she said. The Hamilton County Youth Service award came with a $1,000 scholarship. 

“Too often ‘big tobacco’ targets vulnerable populations like teens,” Liu stated. “VOICE has given me a platform to stand up against their harmful marketing campaigns.”


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