We have invested in positive youth development for decades as a way to address underage tobacco use. In the last four years, we've emphasized collaboration across national youth-serving organizations to make an even greater impact. The collaboration of Success360° better connects in-school and out-of-school time and programming. It reduces duplication of services, increases the reach and frequency of programming for the youth who need it and maximizes impact by focusing on each organization's strengths. For example, Success360° combines the after school space of a Boys and Girls Club with The First Tee's program to teach character building values through the game of golf. The benefits of life skills training, caring adults and a safe place for youth are combined into one experience. This maximizes the benefit to the youth being served. This is Success360° and the power of collaboration.
We challenge our partners to think differently about the way they are meeting the needs of young people and about the way they are connecting with one another. And we are responsive to the changing data and trends in underage tobacco use. From our research on underage tobacco prevention, we saw an increase in use of e-vapor products among high school students. We were able to work with Caron Treatment Centers to expand the cessation programming for high school students to address e-vapor use. We also know from research that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) youth engage in risky behaviors, including tobacco use, at higher rates than non-LGTBQ youth. Because we know that caring adults are critical to the success of young people, we invested $1.7 million in Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and MENTOR to develop tools, resources and training for mentoring LGBTQ youth.
I am proud of this work and my company’s commitment to supporting evidence-based programming that is improving the lives of young people.