Why Youth Activism Matters

Rev Your Bev Day is important to me because my grandmother now deals with many health issues that can be linked to sugary drinks. I am spending time talking about these health concerns because I would like to make Virginia a healthier state and hope that by informing people of the unhealthy effects of sugary drinks, that they will reconsider what they put into their bodies.

Getting ready for my event in Richmond last year was fun and a little nerve-racking. A lot of the adults shared with us that they only drink water to stay healthy, which I thought was awesome. We also got many people who worked in the Office of the First Lady to come down and visit us. It was a very productive morning, and it ended with a visit from the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Bill Hazel. Then after lunch, we went to a elementary school and met up with the YMCA and Fit4Kids for an event with elementary-schoolers.

A lot of the kids were very surprised by what they learned. One kid told me that he was going to go home and “throw all his soda out the window cause now it’s just gross.” That little kid was only seven or eight, but he really gave me a good feeling because if he thought soda was gross now, then maybe he will stop drinking it and be healthier when he grows up.

Youth activism is important because without youth going out into their community and speaking up for what they believe in, you won’t be able to change the future. It shows that youth care about making sure our communities are healthy.

Sarah Chichester is a Sophomore at Skyline High School in Front Royal, Virginia and an active member of Y Street, a program of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth.

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