Save the Date:
Thursday, May 23, 2019

Each year, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ Youth Advocates of the Year Awards Gala honors the accomplishments of outstanding young leaders and tobacco control champions making a difference in the United States and around the world.

Join us for an evening of fun and celebration as we reflect on 2018 – the challenges, the triumphs and the inspirational stories of those pushing our movement forward – and look ahead to continued progress in the fight to protect kids and save lives.

Registration and Tickets

Registration will open in December 2018.


Become a sponsor

Download the sponsor packet and review this year’s sponsorship opportunities.

Questions? Need assistance?
Email Louella Haymon
Phone: (202) 481-9341


Meet Last Year's Honorees

CHAMPION AWARD

Robert D. Manfred, Jr., the Commissioner of Baseball

This year, we presented our highest honor, the Champion Award, to Robert D. Manfred, Jr., the Commissioner of Baseball, in recognition of the league’s efforts under his leadership to eliminate the use of all tobacco products in Major League Baseball. As a result of Commissioner Manfred’s commitment to tobacco-free baseball, nearly half of Major League stadiums are now completely tobacco-free, efforts continue to make the remaining stadiums tobacco-free and new players are prohibited from using smokeless tobacco. With baseball players serving as role models to so many youth, these achievements are having a profound and positive impact on the health of our nation’s children.

Manfred became the 10th Commissioner in the history of MLB on January 25, 2015, after serving in various capacities with MLB for more than two decades. His previous positions at MLB include Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President for Economics & League Affairs and Executive Vice President for Labor Relations & Human Resources.

Manfred is a 1980 graduate of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University and a 1983 magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. Read more on the MLB website.

YOUTH CHAMPION AWARD

Sarah Kay, Jr.,
Honolulu, Hawaii

Sara is a fierce advocate for policies to reduce tobacco use. The issue is personal for her – she lost her grandmother, a nonsmoker, to lung disease likely caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. Due in part to Sara’s advocacy efforts, the City smoking in cars with kids (the measure applies to the entire island of Oahu). Sara has also pushed for a similar statewide law, contacting lawmakers and testifying before the Legislature in support of the proposal. Read full bio

YOUTH ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR AWARDS

Michelle Li
Ballwin, Missouri

As a child, Michelle learned about the harmful consequences of smoking while visiting relatives in Hunan, China. She breathed air thick with tobacco smoke, heard her uncle beg her father to bring him American cigarettes, and watched her beloved grandfather develop lung cancer and later die from the disease. Read full bio

Brooklyn Larimore
Bellevue, Nebraska

Brooklyn is an accomplished tobacco control advocate who serves as co-chair of No Limits Nebraska (the state’s youth-led movement against tobacco), the only youth Executive Board member of the Metro Omaha Anti-Tobacco Coalition, an advocate with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, and a two-time National Youth Ambassador with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. She took on the issue when she saw the toll tobacco was taking on friends and family. Read full bio

Eunice Namkoong
Yorktown, Virginia

Eunice got involved with tobacco prevention when she saw classmates using e-cigarettes in school bathrooms and wondered if her peers knew the risks of these products. A scientist at heart, Eunice surveyed her fellow students about their tobacco knowledge – and proved her hypothesis. Read full bio

Gabrielle Kennedy
Puckett, Mississippi

Growing up, Gabby saw family members using tobacco and became especially committed to fighting tobacco use when her grandfather died of lung cancer. In high school, she joined Generation FREE, Mississippi’s youth-led tobacco prevention program, with the goal of educating her peers about the dangers of tobacco use. Read full bio

GROUP YOUTH ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR AWARD

#RealTalkTobacco
Tijay Daniels, Harmony Ellerbe, Sydney Grimes, Jada Rasulallah, Jasmine Rasulallah, Marquita Young
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

#RealTalkTobacco has one huge goal: to make Philadelphia the first city with a youth smoking rate of zero percent. The group, which is part of the Health Promotion Council’s Advocacy Institute, uses community pop-up events, public service announcements, spoken word poetry and murals to creatively educate their peers about Big Tobacco and advocate for effective policies. Read full bio

JUDY WILKENFELD AWARD FOR INTERNATIONAL TOBACCO CONTROL EXCELLENCE

Ramona Brad
Project Director, 2035 Tobacco-Free Romania Initiative

Ramona Brad is Project Director of the 2035 Tobacco-Free Romania Initiative, a national campaign with the goal of eliminating the death and disease caused by tobacco use in Romania. Ms. Brad has been the driving force in building a coalition of more than 350 organizations that advocates for proven policies to reduce tobacco use. Read full bio


The 2018 Youth Advocates of the Year Awards Sponsors