My name is Maya Patrick, and I am going into my senior year at Pecos Cyber Academy. I have been in Evolvement for about 2 years now, and during this time I have had so many opportunities to educate myself and my community about the harms of tobacco products, and even meet with legislators about our organization and its campaigns. I joined the leadership team this year because I wanted more opportunities to collaborate with other Evolvers and do more to advocate against the commercial tobacco industry.
Through Evolvement, I have had the opportunity to participate in meetings with legislators and important organizations such as the Otero County Juvenile Justice Board and the Center of Health Innovation. These meetings have allowed me to expand my public speaking skills, collaborate with other Evolvers, and make real progress in the fight against the commercial tobacco industry. Through Evolvement, I have also been given extensive training and education about the harms of tobacco products and been taught how to best educate others about these harmful effects. At the leadership team summit, I learned so much about reaching out and educating others in my community. I even went with a group of Evolvers to the mall in Albuquerque to hand out surveys and talk about our No Minor Sale campaign with the people there. The leadership summit prepared me for a variety of events and gave me many opportunities to practice teamwork and leadership skills.
I am glad that I joined Evolvement because it has given me a platform to create real change in my community, and in the entire state of New Mexico, regarding the illegal sale of tobacco to minors, tobacco products in schools, and in educating my community members about the addictive ingredients and harmful effects of tobacco products. I am so thankful that I am a part of this organization and I hope to continue working with Evolvement even after I graduate high school! 🙂