Nov 3, 2020 7:00pm

No Minor Sale Volunteers at Smoking, Spooks & Sweets Event!

My name is Sarah Granio, I am a Sophomore at New Mexico State University studying agriculture and extension education with a minor in chemistry.  I hope to someday be able to teach high school agriculture classes with subjects ranging from plant and animal sciences to mechanics and welding.  I also work as a Resident Assistant in my residence hall, so one of my jobs is interacting with residents and trying to build community. 

I have been an adult volunteer with No Minor Sale for six months now and was given the incredible opportunity to attend the Evolvement Youth Leaders Summit over the summer and really experience the different sister tobacco-prevention organizations here in New Mexico for the very first time.  I have a friend who encouraged me to get involved with No Minor Sale, and while I was apprehensive about it at first, I have come to see involvement with No Minor Sale as an excellent way to get involved with my community and sharpen my sociable skills as I interact with new people more and more often.  In this post, I wanted to share some of my experiences with planning events and working with other incredible people involved with No Minor Sale!

I was very excited to host my very first No Minor Sale event along with Tyra Trumble, another adult volunteer and a close friend of mine.  We planned a virtual event for our residence halls, inviting all of the students and Resident Assistants (RA’s) living in each building to attend our event titled “Smoking, Spooks, and Sweets!”.  Tyra and I designed a Halloween-themed trivia game and played with the six people who did attend, focusing a lot of our attention on interacting with them and introducing little bits and pieces of No Minor Sale with a short intro and trivia sprinkled into the game.  We decided to take a less direct approach with introducing our organization because it was the first time No Minor Sale has been on campus at NMSU and we felt we needed a relevant hook, like a fun night of Halloween trivia, to attract more attention for our event.  At the end of the night we collected 8 Opinion Surveys on flavored tobacco products, one from Tyra, myself, and everyone who attended which was great!

One thing that I’ve noticed while working as an RA in my dorm is that in-person events are much more popular than online events on campus.  A lot of that lack of interest from residents could come from Zoom fatigue, or the desire to avoid any more time at their computers than they already have to put in for school and classes.  Despite that, we are still very happy with the outcome of our program. It may have been small, but it was still successful!  Hopefully with more No Minor Sale events, we’ll have a better understanding of what appeals best to the students at NMSU and can better plan our events to suit their interests.

Planning and putting on events sponsored by No Minor Sale is never a one-person job.  Even if you’re the only adult volunteer interested in holding an event, there are plenty of incredible people ready to support you behind the scenes.  It’s important for adult volunteers to be passionate and get involved because we get to interact with the public and represent No Minor Sale.  The results might seem small, because 8 opinion surveys don’t seem like a lot, but I have to remind myself that No Minor Sale has never held any events at a university like NMSU, and every push for change has to start small and grow to something bigger.  I hope that in the future we see more involvement on campus here in Las Cruces, and can spread awareness about No Minor Sale to the students here.

I really enjoyed the time I got to spend working with Tyra to put “Smoking, Spooks, and Sweets!” together, and at the end of the day, I felt satisfied with the outcome and the work that we put into the event.  I want to encourage anyone interested in being an adult volunteer to take that first step and give No Minor Sale a try; there are so many opportunities to grow as an individual and to network yourself in New Mexico.  To anyone who is already an adult volunteer, I would encourage them to try working with a partner if they are hesitant about hosting an event on their own but try nonetheless!  Now that I’ve got my first event under my belt, I’m excited to do more and see what comes next.

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