What is YUFA STAR?
YUFA STAR (Youth United For Action Showing Tobacco Ain't Right) is a local youth coalition that works with the community to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco and the influences of big tobacco companies. Yolo County has high school coalitions in West Sacramento, Winters, Woodland and a middle school coalition in Esparto. Since its creation in 2001, the coalition has been involved in many community-changing activities locally, regionally, and statewide. These young adults have become an important community voice in Yolo County.
What does YUFA STAR do?
YUFA STAR meets either monthly or bi-weekly, depending on which location you attend.
In addition, there are many advocacy activities where youth can participate. Coalition members are trained in numerous community-educating activities, such as educating merchants on new tobacco laws, organizing community events, participating in school presentations and health fairs.
What do I get out of it?
Most youth wonder how they would benefit from this youth coalition. Not only do youth develop communication and public speaking skills; they also become an important component in the Yolo County community. Youth can gain community service credits, meet other youth locally, regionally, and around the state and best of all, coalition events and activities are free of charge and look great on college resumes.
What has YUFA STAR done recently?
- Kick Butts Day at River City High School and Pioneer High School
Kick Butts Day is a nationally recognized day for youth to speak out against Big Tobacco Companies. This year Pioneer High school put up a display of 1,095 socks to show the number of people who die of tobacco related disease in the United States in one day. River City High School set up a booth during lunch time with educational materials and asked tobacco trivia questions.
- Youth Quest is a statewide rally held at the state capital annually. This year, 18 students from five different high schools in Yolo County attended.
- Healthy Stores for a Health Community News Conference
Last summer, six youth in Yolo County collected data for the statewide Healthy Stores of Healthy Community Campaign. The data from these surveys was released to media on March 5, 2014. Three of the youth attended the news conference to share their experiences.
- Hung "Smoke Free Fair" signs at Yolo County Fair
YUFA STAR worked with the fair board to make Yolo County Fair the 1st smoke-free fair in California in 2004. Every year the youth coalition reminds attendants of this policy by hanging "Smoke-Free Fair" signs.
- Presented cigarette litter from Woodland parks to the Woodland City Council.
In July 2013, YUFA STAR collected 2,291 cigarette butts from three parks in Woodland. The youth coalition explained the problem of cigarette litter and presented their findings to Woodland City Council in September 2013.
Our Flickr page has more pictures!
Interested in making a difference in your own community?
Contact the youth coordinator for meeting times.
Keri Hess, Yolo County's Youth Tobacco Coalition Coordinator