The 2014-15 year of The 84 officially kicked off last weekend at the Youth Power Conference. The day was all about showcasing youth power and encouraging each other to take a stand against Big Tobacco. Chapters exhibited contagious energy, designing posters to display their Chapter pride, snapping photos at the selfie station, and looking amazing in their orange #YouthPowerUp t-shirts – clearly, the excitement for the year was starting to pick up.
First, we experienced the high energy pump-up power of the Statewide Leadership Team who made sure we started the day off on the right foot. Guest Speaker Will Syldor conveyed to us the fierce power of young people, the evil of Big Tobacco, and the importance of standing up for what you believe in. Then, we broke into our individual classrooms to examine what Big Tobacco executives really say behind closed doors, how they directly market their products to youth (Cheap! Sweet! Easy to get!), and what our own connections to Big Tobacco might be.
As the day came to a close, one thing was clear: YOUTH ARE POWERFUL. We felt every individual voice in the room unite, creating a larger booming, forceful voice that we will carry with us throughout the rest of the year. It was a great day in Worcester and it will surely be a great year for The 84 Movement.