COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - Jennifer Smith, SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) Coordinator for the Tobacco Control Program at the Collier County Health Department, was recently awarded the “Bob Graham Distinguished Service Award” as a Community Supporter.
This prestigious award is given to someone with a truly giving nature who has made the community college they support a better place. Only one Community Supporter award is given in Florida annually.
Jennifer has helped students at Edison State College create a STRIKE (Student Tobacco Reform Initiative: Knowledge for Eternity) club. STRIKE members are dedicated to reducing the use of tobacco on campus and promoting a tobacco-free campus. Through her work with STRIKE, Jennifer assists students in developing valuable leadership skills. For example STRIKE students have presented the health risks of tobacco use to 4th and 5th graders in local schools. In addition, STRIKE students have educated local Kiwanis clubs on the Tobacco Free Partnership’s current policy initiative to ban the sale of candy flavored tobacco products in Collier County. These outreach activities provide STRIKE students with an opportunity to represent Edison, serve as health advocates and practice their public speaking skills with younger students as well as adults.
Jennifer has also arranged for students to meet local leaders. She coordinated a meeting with House Representative Matt Hudson. This meeting provided a chance for a student to update his legislator on the goals and objectives of STRIKE such as implementing a tobacco free campus at Edison State College and the candy flavored tobacco initiative. STRIKE students attended the Board of County Commissioners meeting to accept a resolution to ban the sale and marketing of candy flavored tobacco products in Collier County.
Bob Graham awards are given annually to one student, one faculty/staff member, one community supporter and one student government advisor. Students and faculty from Edison State College nominated Jennifer and she was selected from a pool of several dozen community supporters throughout Florida.