My name is Jazelle; I am a senior at Los Lunas High school and I’ve been in Evolvement for 2 years, 1 of which I have spent on the leadership team. When I first heard of Evolvement and their mission I was glad that there were people who cared about the tobacco use within our youth. After being briefly introduced to Evolvement in a class presentation I knew I wanted to be a part of making a change.
My first year due to COVID was not the most eventful due to everything being online but my second year of Evolvement, first year on the Leadership Team, I got to take part in the “Day at the Capitol.” A few Evolvement members and myself went to Santa Fe to give a small speech about Evolvement and what we stand for, the importance of it, and our personal experiences that lead us to wanting to make a change. Getting to Sante Fe we rode on the railroad runner which was a first for me. On the ride we played games and did some final touch up on our speech followed by a few practice rehearsals. Upon arriving again my group and I practiced our lines and prepared to go up on the podium. When the time came to go up and present I was super nervous and worried; worried that I would mess up, worried that I would stutter, worried I wasn’t loud enough, and every worst possible scenario my mind could generate.
However, seeing the people watching us and seeing how some of them were engaged in what we were saying made me feel more confident in what I was doing. Their interested faces gave me confirmation that what we were doing was meaningful and made people ponder about the benefit of what a tobacco free school environment could be for youth followed by how preventing access to tobacco for youth can help thousands. Being in Evolvement is important to me because it is a way to make change and encourage others to want to be better as individuals and as a community. My experience at the Capitol was a big step in being seen by people all across New Mexico and reaching the heart of parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, and so much more.