News and Events

Graduating SWAT Seniors Rock Their Honor Cords (& Masks) for Their Dedication to Tobacco Prevention Projects
May 13, 2020

SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) is Florida's statewide youth organization working to mobilize, educate and equip Florida youth to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco. SWAT is a united movement of empowered youth working towards a tobacco free future. SWAT works to change the social norms associated with tobacco. This means we want to change the way people think about tobacco… making it less desirable, less acceptable, and less accessible.

SWAT Youth accomplish this by advocating for change in local policies that affect how tobacco is marketed, how it is sold, and where it can be used. SWAT members can expect to participate in a wide range of activities including community education and outreach, public speaking, collecting data, and media advocacy. 

Many students join SWAT because they have parents or loved ones who are tobacco users and want to break the cycle of addiction in their family and educate other, others join the SWAT club because they enjoy the community events and giving back to their community.

While the end of the school year did not go as planned due to COVID-19, a big congratulations is for the eleven DeSoto County High School SWAT Club seniors who went above and beyond to dedicate themselves to a creating a tobacco free future in DeSoto County.

Pictured left to right: Front - Molly McKettrick, Yanelly Gamez, Eliana Medina, Alecia Dailey;
Back - Eldridge Arthur, Yanelly Hernandez, Lupita Manriquez, Jake Bartell
Missing: Kyleigh Adams, Eileen Aguilar, M’alee Sauvey

We are proud of our SWAT seniors who met the necessary requirements and were honored at our socially distant end of the year celebration. Seniors were given green SWAT cords to proudly display at their high school graduation. A virtual graduation will be held May 29th, and a live graduation is tentatively scheduled for July 31st.

We were able to honor 4 more seniors this year as opposed to last year. We are proud of the work our youth are doing to educate their peers and local community members in order to end the trend of tobacco use in DeSoto County. Our youth are working hard and our clubs are expanding. We currently have SWAT clubs at DeSoto Middle School, DeSoto High School, and the Lewis and Gloria Flanzer Boys and Girls Club of Arcadia.

To learn more about SWAT visit our website or contact Jodie DeLoach at