Each year, the Start Smart Retreat takes place at Kamp Kaleo where incoming seventh graders from multiple schools in the area participate in workshops over a variety of topics such as tobacco, alcohol and bullying. This year, Rosie Nelson, a senior at O’Neill High School, attended on August 28 and presented on behalf of the No Limits Youth Board. Her presentations focused on the mission of No Limits and why it is so important for youth to stand up to Big Tobacco.

After the students had a chance to get to know each other, they began to feel comfortable discussing how tobacco has impacted their life. “Many students had personal stories that involved tobacco and asked great questions about how the tobacco industry deceives youth,” said Nelson. These discussions led the youth to want to learn more about No Limits and how they can get involved in the fight against Big Tobacco. Nelson also noted that “many adults found the information interesting and were unaware of how the tobacco industry uses its sneaky ways to target youth to make them new customers.”

“I believe outreach events such as these are incredibly important, and they are my favorite thing to do through No Limits! Spreading our message about Big Tobacco is incredibly important and can help us create the next tobacco-free generation. Through exposing and opposing Big Tobacco in this format, students get the chance to learn the harmful effects of tobacco and make their own educated response to the industry. This also allows me to teach these students and truly make a positive difference in my state.

My favorite part about Start Smart was the number of kids who chose to interact with the presentation. Most of the students were very engaged in what I was discussing and furthermore enjoyed adding to the presentation with their own personal stories, showing others that tobacco is a real issue that many people witness daily. This made it easier for me to teach as well as it made it easier for kids to understand because their peers are going through it, too.” – Rosie Nelson

If you’re interested in having a No Limits Youth Board member present at your school about the harmful impacts of tobacco, how the tobacco industry targets youth and what youth can do about it, please reach out to info@nolimitsnebraska.com and a staff member will be in touch with you.