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Tobacco-Free Partnership Members of DeSoto County Honored for Their Dedication to a Tobacco Free Future
May 20, 2021

While the past year was not ideal from many standards, our local partnership made the best of the reality we were given and trudged forward with tobacco prevention work in DeSoto County.

On May 20, 2021 our DeSoto SWAT Youth and TFP Members gathered for our end of the year banquet. In addition to celebrating a year of many unknowns and a lot of perseverance, we were able to honor a few members for their outstanding contribution towards a tobacco free future.


Heather Rogers was chosen as our 2020-2021 Tobacco Free Partnership Member of the Year. Heather graduated from Florida Atlantic University where she obtained a degree in Sociology. She was an educator in Highlands County for many years before joining the Hanley Foundation team that now serves Manatee, DeSoto, Highlands, and Hardee County. While she has a vast workload, she always goes above and beyond to give DeSoto the attention it deserves! Over the past year, she has helped our partnership in many ways, including but not limited to: presenting to decision makers, educating youth, and conducting Point Of Sale Store Assessments to help combat marketing tactics in DeSoto County.

“Heather, Prevention Specialist, joined Hanley Foundation in January of 2020 and has been an invaluable member to Hanley and more personally, to my team.  She is passionate about education and prevention and knows the value of community and relationships. She is smart, dependable, kind, talented, loyal and so much more. I am so excited for her and proud of her for the well-deserved recognition by The Tobacco Free Partnership of DeSoto County.” Jennifer Venuto, LCSW, Prevention Coordinator for Hanley Foundation. 


Veronica Guerrero, daughter of Heriberto Guerrero and Olga Blanco, was recognized as our 2020-2021 SWAT Youth of the Year. In addition to being the DHS SWAT Club president, Veronica is also involved in both SADD and STEM. She has put in countless hours of volunteer work and has shown an outstanding dedication towards prohibiting another generation of tobacco addiction. Veronica has helped plan and complete a teddy bear drive for local law enforcement officers, volunteered her time to educate community members at various community events, attended regional and statewide trainings, and many other initiatives over the years. After graduation, Veronica plans to receive an AA degree from South Florida State College then transfer to a Florida University and pursue a degree in criminal justice.

“Veronica has been an incredible student and asset to our SWAT Youth Program. When she first joined, she was very shy and reserved. However, her leadership skills have grown immensely, and she has developed into a great leader. Her constant willingness to help and lead has been invaluable over the past several years. We are all proud of her growth and assistance.” Tim Kornell, DHS SWAT Youth Advisor.


On behalf of the Tobacco Free Partnership of DeSoto County, we would like to extend our most sincere appreciation to Heather and Veronica! We are working hard to make our community as safe as possible for all DeSoto County residents, and we are very appreciative of all Heather and Veronica have done to help get us to this point. It has been a true pleasure having them both serve. We deeply appreciate your passion and dedication.