2024 Youth Advocates of the Year… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

WATCH: 2024 Youth Advocates of the Year Awards



2024 Barrie Fiske National Youth Advocate of the Year:
Connor Lam

2024 Group Youth Advocates of the Year:
#iCANendthetrend Youth Advisory Board

2024 Global Young Ambassador of the Year:
Given Kapolyo

2024 Judy Wilkenfeld Award for International Tobacco Control Excellence:
Lilia Olefir

Global Health Advocacy Changemaker Award:
Yessika Hoyos Morales


Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, has demonstrated unyielding leadership in working to eliminate menthol cigarettes and end the tobacco industry’s predatory marketing to kids, Black Americans and other communities. President Johnson and the NAACP have worked tirelessly to support the FDA’s proposed rules to prohibit menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, providing a powerful voice of support for the rules to the Biden Administration, Congress, the media and the public. We honor President Johnson for his leadership, commitment and courage in this fight.

Driven by memories of his beloved grandfather’s persistent cough from smoking cigarettes since childhood, Connor Lam decided to fight Big Tobacco when he was 11 years old – and he hasn’t stopped since. In 2020, he rallied fellow students to testify before his city council, resulting in a new local law that prohibited flavored tobacco sales, banned tobacco retailers near schools and established tobacco retailer licenses. Statewide, Connor was active in the campaign to pass the 2020 California law ending flavored tobacco sales and the subsequent ballot referendum to uphold it. At the federal level, he met with California members of Congress to urge their support for the FDA’s rules to prohibit menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars and for efforts to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes. Next, Connor wants to take his advocacy global and help his grandfather’s village in the Philippines reduce tobacco use and prevent the devastating health issues that plagued his grandfather.

The #iCANendthetrend Youth Advisory Board is a passionate group of Kentucky high school students who share a vision for ending youth tobacco use. Earlier this year, group members organized and led an advocacy summit at the Kentucky State Capitol, where over 100 youth came together to push for stronger enforcement of Kentucky’s law prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21. While this award honors the collective efforts of #iCANendthetrend, we're delighted to highlight the efforts of leaders Jasmin Hernandez, Ksenia Miller and Saumya Sikhwal who are working tirelessly to create the first tobacco-free generation.

Given Kapolyo is a passionate young advocate at the forefront of the battle against tobacco use in Africa. Widely known as “the tobacco control warrior," she has recruited, trained and mentored youth throughout her home country of Zambia. Given has played a leading role in advancing Zambia’s comprehensive tobacco control bill, which includes 100% smoke-free public places, pictorial health warnings, regulation of emerging tobacco products and a ban on tobacco advertising. Given's dedication to creating a healthier future for all makes her an inspiration to young advocates across Zambia and all of Africa.

Lilia Olefir is Director of the Smoke Free Partnership (SFP), a coalition of over 55 European organizations that works to mobilize decision-makers to implement the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in Europe. Prior to leading SFP, Lilia served as Executive Director of LIFE Advocacy Center in Ukraine, her home country. One of Lilia’s most significant achievements is the advocacy campaign leading to Ukraine’s comprehensive 2022 tobacco control bill, which was signed into law just a month before Russia’s invasion. The law includes 100% smoke-free public places, larger pictorial health warnings and a ban on advertising of all tobacco products. Lilia is now applying her experience and knowledge to advocating for the adoption and implementation of strong tobacco control measures across the European Union.

Yessika Hoyos Morales is a human rights lawyer and president of the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers Collective (Cajar), one of the most respected human rights organizations in Colombia. Working with the Global Health Advocacy Incubator and other Food Policy Program partners, Yessika has challenged unethical practices of the food industry and advocated for the adoption of healthy food policies. Even amid security threats and smear campaigns from powerful entities, Yessika and Cajar, along with other civil society organizations, have successfully advocated for policies including front-of-package warnings and health taxes on ultra-processed products and sugary drinks. Yessika’s commitment to justice and her courage in confronting violence make her an inspiring leader for future generations.



Ambassador Omar Arouna and Yolonda C. Richardson


Louise and Matthew Myers




Activate Detroit

Bank of America


Global Wave Digital


Gunster Strategies Worldwide

John R. Bowman

Jonathan Wilkenfeld and Family

National Behavioral Health Network for Tobacco and Cancer Control

Reid, McNally, & Savage

Rescue | The Behavior Change Agency

RVO Health

The Burns Brothers

The Mellman Group

Anderson & Kreiger LLP

Capitol Services, Inc.


CRL Associates

EaglePeak Consulting

Elite Change, Inc.

FINN Partners

FM3 Research

Funk & Bolton, P.A.

Gallagher Benefit Services



Jacquie and Bruce Parker

Kerr Russell

Kimberly and Craig Amazeen

Marcum Technology

McAlvey Merchant & Associates

Ohio River South, Inc.

Praxis Political

Reinecke Strategic Solutions

Resch Strategies

Serra Public Affairs

The Resurgam Group

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Tim Gibbs Consulting

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP


Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is the leading advocacy organization working to reduce tobacco use and its deadly consequences in the United States and around the world. Through strategic communications and policy advocacy campaigns, we promote the adoption of proven solutions that are most effective at reducing tobacco use and save the most lives. Through our youth initiatives, we foster young leaders who are striving to make the next generation tobacco-free. Our vision is a future free from the death and disease caused by tobacco.

Global Health Advocacy Incubator

The Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), an initiative of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, supports civil society organizations advocating for public health policies that reduce death and disease. GHAI brings a proven advocacy approach and a global network of local partners, built on a 25-year track record of success across multiple issues in more than 60 countries. GHAI provides strategic support to advocates working to enact and implement laws that save lives on a variety of public health issues and in diverse political systems and is a leading policy advocacy voice on a range of issues.

Photography and filming will be taking place during the event. Your entry into the event constitutes agreement to being photographed and/or filmed for use on our website and social media channels. Press may be in attendance as well.