Hello, I’m Rhyan Cordova a senior at Valencia High School in Los Lunas. I’m a part of Evolvement; Evolvement is a youth-led movement promoting a healthier and tobacco- free New Mexico. I’ve been in this program for three years but this is my first year on the leadership team. In the time I’ve been in Evolvement, I’ve both attended and spoke at a few conferences on behalf of Evolvement.
Both the media and getting our message out via this platform are important because we are able to spread what and why Evolvement exists for exactly. We are able to provide a clear, straightforward discussion with our audience. The ability to spread our message via the media is a great way to channel our message on a wide scale and to spread awareness.
No Minor Sale is a campaign to stop the illegal sale of tobacco to minors. While being a part of Evolvement and speaking on behalf of No Minor Sale, I have had the opportunity to spread awareness through my appearance on TV, this was my first time speaking into front of so many people and I was so nervous. After that experiences I wanted to continue with this work but with more confidence and that’s what I did. I was able to present at the 2020 NM ACTion Conference speaking on subjects of youth advocating through our No Minor Sale and 24/7 campaigns. Some conferences are not televised but we continue to spread and show awareness on all forms of media. It is important to keep spreading awareness because change begins with you, so you can continue to spread awareness.
Speaking to the media provides the youth with skills such as confidence, enthusiasm, the ability to engage and learn stress management. These skills are grown over time and don’t show up overnight as you practice these skills over and over again. While working with Evolvement, I have learned just how important the media is to the spread of awareness and education to those who may not know the information Evolvement has collected from the public. When students become more involved in the media, they could grow as people but also become more prepared for the next phase of their life because of the skills they have come to grow. We should emphasize media as a means to spread awareness because in this form we are able to create the platform to advocate the means of Evolvement, continue with prevention efforts and create change.
Hello, my name is Cole Rowland and I am a Junior from Portales HS in the Southeast region of New Mexico. This will be my second year in the Evolvement program, and my first year as a part of the ENMLT or Evolvement Leadership Team. Youth advocacy has been a subject that I am very passionate about, getting involved is something I care a lot about and the outcomes of it are very rewarding.
As a new member of the ENMLT, I am so excited to be a part of the change that helps the youth of New Mexico. I feel that the youth need to be able to speak up and have a voice. After all, the youth is the future so they should have a voice in the matter. Being able to voice their opinions early in life sets them up to not have fear of it when they get older. Having a voice is the most powerful thing in life and to be able to defend yourself and speak up about something that isn’t right is very empowering.
Being able to be a part of the Evolvement program has helped me learn to speak up about more sensitive subjects and not be afraid to voice my opinion. At the Peanut Valley Festival in October of 2019 where this picture was taken, I was given many opportunities to voice my opinion and spread awareness about the effects of tobacco on my generation. As a program, we fought for the passing of tobacco retail licensing for tobacco products to provide accountability and assurance that the illegal sale of tobacco to minors would significantly decrease. By making it harder for the youth to obtain tobacco, the easier it would be to quit. Encouraging people to be pro-policy had its fair share of difficulties, but in the end, as an organization, we accomplished that goal with the support of thousands of New Mexicans that expressed their concern on the topic.
The passing of the tobacco retail licensing bill was a major success in youth activism within New Mexico. It showed that together, the youth can do great things when we voice our opinions and spread awareness. The Evolvement program has brought me to realize that the youth have the potential to do outstanding things. I hope that through being a part of the leadership team I will be able to accomplish many more great things this coming year.