News and Events

DeSoto Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Members Attend Regional Training in Wauchula, Florida
November 5, 2016

It was a true pleasure attending the Regional SWAT Meeting on November 5, 2016 with two of the most dedicated SWAT Youth DeSoto County has to offer. The regional meeting was held at the Hardee County Health Department in Wauchula, Florida. Myha Mendoza and Lauren Wiley, gladly attended on behalf of the DeSoto County SWAT Chapter. Melissa Mendoza, SWAT Advisor of San Bosco Community SWAT Club, accompanied the girls to the meeting.

(picture L to R) Myha Mendoza, Melissa Mendoza, and Lauren Wiley
enjoy a quick selfie during their lunch break.

Myha Medoza is a member of our community based SWAT Club at San Juan Bosco. She has been an active member for nearly 2 years. She is dedicated to, and enjoys, exposing the dangers associated with tobacco use. In addition to SWAT, Myha is active in the art club at Memorial Elementary, and is also a member of DFy (Drug Free Youth).  “Myha is an incredibly dedicated young girl, always willing to lend a helping hand. We are very proud to have her serve as one of our SWAT youth,” said Jodie DeLoach.

Lauren Wiley, is one of our newest, yet most dedicated SWAT members. When asked if she would attend the regional SWAT meeting which was originally scheduled the same weekend as homecoming, she accepted without a moment of hesitation. Lauren is currently in her junior year at DeSoto High School. She is very enthusiastic when it comes to tobacco prevention and has been more than willing to help in any way she can. She is by far one of the most active and dependable SWAT students in the entire SWAT Chapter of DeSoto County. “We are truly blessed to have such a smart, kind, and devoted young girl serve on our SWAT Chapter here in DeSoto County. It is an absolute joy that we get to work with Lauren one more year before graduation.” said Jodie DeLoach.

SWAT Youth prepare to participate in a collaborative learning activity.

The regional SWAT meeting kicked off with several icebreaker activities. This allowed SWAT youth to become better acquainted with one another and lead in to a day full of collaboration. After getting acquainted, the first topic up for discussion was time management. It prompted youth to reflect on how they spend their time, and how to better do so. This was an excellent tool for them to use in their personal lives, but also a unique way to look at their time management of SWAT events, meeting etc.

Another large portion of the meeting was spent hearing from prospective YAB (youth advocacy board) candidates. It was so awesome to see other students their age stand up in front of everyone and profess their desire to be the head and the voice of tobacco issues in the state.  

YAB students explaining why they should be voted as the voice for SWAT Region 3.

After all presentations, elections were made and region three is excited to introduce four wonderful new YAB students Allyssa Williams (Osceola), Nicole Jimenez (Seminole), Emma Buscemi (Hernando) and Sachit Gali (Sarasota). We are very excited for all the awesome things they will bring to our region this year!