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Polk County high school student wins prestigious tobacco youth advocate award | Community Spirit

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Polk County high school student wins prestigious tobacco youth advocate award
Polk County high school student wins prestigious tobacco youth advocate award

Polk County, FL -- The Tobacco Free Partnership of Polk County recognizes Jordan Bontrager, a Polk County high school student and Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) youth advocate, for winning the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Southern Region Youth Advocate of the Year Award.

The Youth Advocates of the Year Awards honor young activists throughout the country who fight to protect their peers from the dangers of tobacco use through public education efforts, student-to-student training and outreach. 

They are also recognized for their work in promoting tobacco prevention legislation in their home states and in helping to reduce tobacco marketing in their communities.

Jordan, 17, is a senior at Chain of Lakes Collegiate High School at Polk State College in Winter Haven and has been a member of SWAT for two years as a youth advocacy board member.

"I would like to thank everyone who provided me the opportunity and support in tobacco prevention,” Jordan said in a release. “I hope this will be a catalyst to help me in pursuing a lifetime of work in tobacco prevention and control. Specifically, I plan to continue supporting the fight against flavored tobacco at the local, state, and national level.”

SWAT is a statewide youth organization working to mobilize, educate and equip Florida’s youth to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco. It is a united movement of empowered youth working towards a tobacco free future.

“Jordan clearly understands the power and strength of the youth voice,” Colleen Mangan, Tobacco Program Coordinator for the Polk County Health Department. said in a release. “One cannot ask for a better voice, a better advocate, in tobacco prevention and control.  We are so very proud of this accomplished young man.”

"Jordan is one of the most dedicated youth I have had the pleasure of working with in the field of Tobacco Control,” Cauney Bamberg, chair for the Tobacco Free Partnership of Polk County said. “His leadership qualities reflect not only in the work he does against big tobacco but, also in his passion to bring other young people to the tobacco initiatives and to develop future leaders amongst them."

Jordan will be attending the Youth Advocates of the Year Awards Gala on May 18 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C. 

This year’s gala will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The Youth Advocates of the Year Awards winners are outstanding young people who are among today’s most effective leaders in tobacco control. 

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