My First Partner Presentation is Officially on the Books… Now What?
Hello! My name is Sarah Granio, and I am a first-year volunteer with No Minor Sale. I am currently a Sophomore at New Mexico State University studying Agriculture and Extension Education and I hope to be a high school ag teacher in the future! Originally, I am from Mesa, Arizona so there was definitely a learning curve that I had to meet about the differences in tobacco policy as I transitioned from Arizona over to New Mexico.
As a volunteer, I have had a few awesome opportunities become available to me through No Minor Sale, namely the ability to put on programs at my school and attend summits with high school youth advocates, New Mexico Department of Health officials, and even state legislators. At the beginning of March, I was also able to participate with fellow No Minor Sale Volunteer Eliana Ruiloba in putting on a 45-minute partner presentation for No More New Mexico. It was my first partner presentation as a volunteer with No Minor Sale, so I was justifiably nervous about how it would go, but it ended up being a fantastic experience!
The partner presentation brought me face-to-face with an amazing group of people from No More New Mexico, who are serving their communities and working with college campuses to make positive changes to tobacco policies. Eliana and I gave the presentation on Microsoft Teams which was definitely a first for us both, but outside of a few minor technical difficulties, we were still able to communicate our own experiences surrounding youth tobacco use and give all the information we had to our audience. We presented to a small group from No More New Mexico about recent successes with tobacco retail licensing and our current efforts towards banning flavored tobacco products. We ended up collecting four more opinion surveys on flavored tobacco products by the time we were done! They did a fantastic job engaging with Eliana and I, asking us questions about the campaign and our own experiences from high school and NMSU.
Being able to have those conversations with No More New Mexico was the most impactful part of the entire experience for me. They asked us questions because they were interested and wanted to know more, which served to encourage me to answer and not be so shy about speaking to a group of strangers. At the end of the day, it was an excellent opportunity for me to work on my public speaking skills and network with an organization that I might even have the chance to work with again in the near future which is definitely exciting.
Eliana and I were lucky enough to present to a group that was interested in joining No Minor Sale as a campaign partner before we even showed up in their meeting room. Knowing that they would be supportive ahead of time certainly eased some of my worries about having to present to a stone-cold audience, but I understand that not everyone will have the same experience. Despite that, I still think it is vitally important for volunteers to pursue these opportunities to speak to the community through No Minor Sale. In the coming months I am excited to see what kind of virtual events No Minor Sale can put on here at NMSU and what kind of support we can find in the students and faculty living on campus.
I can admit to having my hesitations about doing partner presentations and struggling my way through them. Now that I’ve made it through my first presentation, and crushed it according to Michael, the No Minor Sale Campaign Manager, I found that I am a lot more confident in my speaking skills and presenting ability. I even surprised myself with the amount of knowledge I have about New Mexico’s tobacco policies and recent achievements.
The more events that I participate in, the more I learn. Because of that, I would encourage other volunteers and youth leaders to keep getting involved. Even though we don’t have the best platforms to advocate on right now, there are still opportunities to grow professionally and knowledge-wise. The No Minor Sale community is incredibly supportive, and everyone has had unique experiences both big and small. If you’re just starting out or unsure about signing up as a volunteer, don’t forget that there are volunteers like me who are here to support you!