Machias’ Washington County: One Voice Voted Anti-Tobacco Youth Group of the Year
November 23, 2015

The Washington County: One Voice student group from Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School (RMG) was selected as the 2015 Partnership for a Tobacco-Free Maine’s Anti-Tobacco Youth Group of the Year. The award, presented during the Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN) Leadership Summit held in Augusta each October, recognizes a group of Maine youth aged 12 to 18 who have demonstrated strong leadership and have influenced positive, lasting change in their communities.

The RMG One Voice group, comprised of 7th and 8th grade students, has been working to increase awareness and enforcement of the school’s Tobacco-Free Campus policy. The group’s activities to date include a joint policy assessment with school administration, an interactive tobacco prevention workshop for the entire student body, and tobacco prevention workshop presentations at the 2014 and 2015 MYAN Leadership Summits. They are working with the Partnership for Tobacco Free Maine to increase the signage at the school, and planning information sessions for parents and community members regarding the school’s Tobacco-Free Campus policies.

Washington County: One Voice is a county-wide coalition bringing together teams of youth in the 6th through 12th grades and their adult mentors to inspire and create positive change in their schools and communities. One Voice activities help students develop strong communication and leadership skills and increase self-confidence as they connect with peers and community members about key social issues affecting their lives and communities. There are currently five, active One Voice groups in Washington County: Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School in Machias, Jonesport Elementary School, Calais Jr./Sr. High School, Narraguagus High School in Harrington, and Shead High School in Eastport.

One Voice is a program of Healthy Acadia, a Healthy Maine Partnership and non-profit community health coalition working to build healthier communities across Washington and Hancock counties. If your school or youth group is interested in creating a One Voice group or finding out more information, please contact Jenny Robish at 255-3741 or jenny@healthyacadia.org.