News and Events

Gilchrist County 4-H Students Working Against Tobacco Share Their Experiences with Legislators in Washington DC
June 8 , 2013

On the week of June 8th, three Gilchrist county SWAT members attended a 4-H event in Washington D.C. called Citizenship Washington Focus. Chandler Ash, Tucker McDaniel, and Josh Akin joined the other two Florida delegates and traveled to the nation’s capital. The week-long event focuses on improving participants’ citizenship and leadership skills.
At the event, each youth signed up for a committee that organized activities that were done throughout the week. The Gilchrist SWAT youth varied from being on a talent show committee, to a town hall meeting committee, to a mock legislature committee. While helping on these committees, all three SWAT youth from Gilchrist County learned valuable skills that can be used back home.  Additionally, the youth worked on an action plan to bring back to their counties to promote tobacco prevention programs among 4-H youth.
During the event, the youth had the amazing opportunity to speak with their U.S. Representative, Dr. Ted Yoho, who stepped out of a committee meeting to speak with them.

The Florida delegation also had the incredible chance to meet face-to-face with Senator Bill Nelson. They spoke with Senator Nelson about their own 4-H projects and a few issues that are important in their communities such as candy flavored tobacco marketing which targets youth. 

Gilchrist SWAT in DC
SWAT Youth visit Senator Bill Nelson (from L to R: Chandler Ash, Tucker MacDaniel, Josh Akin)

In addition, the youth spent time discussing tobacco issues and their accomplishments in Gilchrist County related to candy flavored tobacco and other 4-H projects with the legislative aides for Senators Nelson and Rubio, and Representative Yoho.  Everyone they spoke with was interested in their work in Gilchrist County surrounding a candy flavored tobacco ordinance and a candy flavored tobacco resolution, and encouraged the youth to continue working to make their community a better place.

This trip was inspirational for our 4-H SWAT youth.  They learned skills that they can bring back to the county and use their club and in their community.  It was definitely an experience they will not forget!