News and Events

Two SWAT Youth Join the Tobacco Free Partnership of Gilchrist County Advisory Council
September 9, 2014

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Gilchrist County recently elected new Advisory Council members including two new youth members.   These young people are part of the Students Working Against Tobacco leadership club, and will be helping start a new high school SWAT club at Trenton High School.

Karina Turner Karina Turner is a senior at Trenton High school and has been a SWAT member for three years.  Karina has also been a 4-H member for 4 years.  She quickly became involved in community activities to help keep youth in Gilchrist County from starting to use tobacco.  She helped plan the 2013 Kick Butts Day event at the Suwannee River Youth Fair where she educated community members about flavored tobacco dangers. She also advocated for stronger tobacco rules at school, spoke to the school board and asked that tobacco infractions receive a level 2 (major) offense in the student code of conduct.  In May, Karina went with her SWAT club to speak to the Bell Town Council to ask them to pass a candy flavored tobacco resolution which was passed in June.
Joshua Akin is a junior at Trenton High School and has been a SWAT member for five years.  Joshua has also been a 4-H member for 11 years.  Joshua has participated in numerous SWAT activities over the past 5 years including Kick Butts Day, Great American Smoke Out, and attending regional SWAT meetings as a Gilchrist County representative.  Joshua traveled to Washington D.C. to speak to his Senators and Representative about the impact of cigars and flavored cigars on young people in Gilchrist County.  Joshua also spoke to the school board along with Karina and advocated for stronger school policy on tobacco issues.
Johua Akin

The hard work of these two young leaders is evident in the community.  Two flavored tobacco resolutions have been passed (Gilchrist County, and the Town of Bell), and tobacco use and possession has been added as a level 2 offense in the student code of conduct, along with the addition of e-cigarettes as a tobacco product.  Both Karina and Joshua are passionate about their community and use their free time to serve others by improving it.  The Tobacco Free Partnership could not have better youth representatives leading them this year!

For more information of the work of the Tobacco Free Partnership and SWAT onlocal tobacco prevention issues, contact Tracy DeCubellis at