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TFA staff are dedicated to empowering youth through training, mentorship, and resources, enabling them to become informed and active participants in tobacco prevention education and policy change. The organization's youth partners play a crucial role in educating their peers, community members, and decision makers about the harmful effects of commercial tobacco. TFA's primary objective is to provide teenagers with valuable opportunities to develop essential skills and take ownership of their work. This is facilitated by fostering positive and supportive relationships between adults and youth, which are vital for establishing authentic and successful partnerships.
To achieve these goals, TFA provides comprehensive training to its youth partners in both peer-to-peer education and tobacco prevention policy advocacy. In the area of peer-to-peer education, TFA has developed a workshop called "Unpacking Myths and Facts about Vaping" through input gathered from teen focus groups conducted across Minnesota. This workshop specifically targets the initiation, use, and nicotine addiction associated with vaping, while also promoting healthy adolescent development. Peer-to-peer education is a fundamental component of this workshop, and youth partners are trained as peer educators and workshop co-facilitators. They assume the role of trusted advisors and provide valuable feedback to ensure that the workshop remains relevant and engaging for a diverse youth audience. Additionally, youth partners create and lead tobacco prevention activities tailored to their peers, utilizing social media platforms, as well as organizing events within schools and communities.
In terms of tobacco prevention policy advocacy, TFA's advocacy training equips youth partners with the necessary skills and confidence to contribute their perspectives, ideas, and recommendations to shape tobacco prevention policies that directly impact them. TFA's youth partners collaborate with our tobacco prevention coalition partners, engage with their schools and communities, and raise awareness about vaping harms. They use various advocacy strategies, such as emailing and meeting with elected officials, creating petitions, and attending and testifying at city council meetings and state legislative hearings to advocate for and pass tobacco prevention policies that promote a healthier community for everyone.

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