Whiz Kids: RCASA Youth Leaders Share Cigarette Research on Beacon Hill

Reading Patch chooses five RCASA youth leaders as its Whiz Kids of the week.

Each week, Reading Patch will select a Whiz Kid (or kids) of the Week. This week, we chose the RCASA youth who recently visited the State House to speak out about tobacco companies targeting youth.

  • Kelsey McCarthy, Emily Ames, Ashley Testa, Ben Hitchcock, and Erin Cunningham
  • These five youths are students at  and youth leaders in the Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse
  • They recently visited the State House for the annual Kick Buts Day. The group met with Rep. Dwyer to talk about the trends in tobacco product advertising and availability. Prior to meeting with Rep. Dwyer, the RCASA group marched to the statehouse with hundreds of youths from around the state.
  • The RCASA Student Club has more than 25 members at the high school learning about these trends and finding creative ways to reach their peers. Both the youth and adult club members have shared tobacco trend information at staff meetings, trainings, and other forums. The group also got a chance to meet with Tim O’Sullivan, a graduate of the RCASA program and a member of the 2011 Kick Butts Day Planning Committee. Ellie Freedman, Principal at Reading Memorial High School supported sending the club to Boston for Kick Butts Day. According to Freedman, “these students are engaged in a valuable learning opportunity to understand an issue and share your findings.”


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