More than 200 youth and youth advisors from across Washington met in Olympia on Jan. 15 for Prevention Policy Day, to advocate for prevention issues.

Students met with their legislators and policymakers from several districts throughout the state—from Yakima to Seattle—to express the importance of prevention for the health of their communities, especially about Tobacco 21. For many of the students, it was their first visit to the capitol and the first time they spoke with elected officials.

The annual Prevention Policy Day provides an incredible opportunity for students to tell their stories and realize the power their voices have to influence and educate officials about the realities and impact policies have on their lives. Healthy Gen helped prepare the students through youth advocacy training events–like the one in Washougal in December–online resources, and an improvisation-based refresher the morning of Prevention Policy Day.

Healthy Gen has been a proud partner and supporter of Prevention Policy Day since 2015, an event that is organized and hosted by the Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention (WASAVP), TOGETHER!, and Mercer Island Healthy Youth Initiative.