Please join us as we learn about Vaping Use and Prevention from Voice Inc. Voice Inc is a nonprofit that empowers children and their families to lead healthy and productive lives by conducting evidence-based programs that teach critical life skills.
Topic: Addressing Youth E-Cigarette Use as Educators
VOICE (Viable Options in Community Endeavors, Inc) teaches critical life skills and promotes behavioral health and wellness at schools and community sites throughout Central Texas. As the recipient of the largest amount of Youth Prevention funding from THHS (Texas Health and Human Services), VOICE closely follows trends in tobacco, alcohol, and drug use and misuse. We currently see an increase in vaping among youth. According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, an estimated 34% of high school students (5.22 million) and 11.3% of middle school students (1.34 million) reported ever using a tobacco product in 2021. E-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product. In this session, participants will learn more about e-cigarettes, the harmful effects of vaping, and strategies to address the issue.
Presenter: Melissa Castillo, M.S.
Melissa Castillo is Deputy Director of Programs for VOICE. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Texas A&M Commerce and a Master of Science in Applied Psychology from San Angelo State University. In 2009, Melissa joined VOICE and became a Certified Prevention Specialist. She has since accrued many additional CEU hours in the field of prevention. Melissa began at VOICE by teaching evidence-based curriculum and leading a teen leadership program. She then became a CAP (College Achievement Program) advisor, helping students plan for, apply to, and access resources to pay for college. After also serving as a program director, she was promoted to Deputy Director of Programs in 2020. Having faced various challenges throughout her life, Melissa empathizes with the children, teens, and families VOICE serves. She loves her job and feels privileged to work in youth prevention.