Legacy® Announces Winners of the 2013 Alma Adams Scholarship

National Competition Awards Students Dedicated to Reducing Tobacco Use

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Legacy, a nonprofit public health organization based in Washington, D.C. announces the winners of the 2013 Alma S. Adams Scholarship for Outreach and Health Communications to Reduce Tobacco Use Among Priority Populations.* Each year Legacy recognizes students who are dedicated to reducing commercial tobacco use. 

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This year Legacy awarded two scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students throughout the country. Each recipient has dedicated time to help educate their communities about tobacco use and related research to help serve local communities. This year's Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship Awards were presented to Bserat Ghebremicael and Jacob James Fitisemanu Jr. Each winner found creative and impactful ways to reach individuals and champion public health at the local level. Honorable Mention awards were given to Kaylea H.K. Chase and Roni Jacobson

Bserat Ghebremicael, from Las Vegas, NV, is entering her first year at Georgetown University as a Human Science major. With a passion for public and global health, Ghebremicael has informed and educated her local community about tobacco use and its consequences in addition to working on passing bills prohibiting tobacco use in surrounding areas. Ghebremicael was awarded the National Presidential Award for Community Service in March and placed third in the state with a project focused on tobacco-free living for the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA).

"I am truly honored to have been one of many distinguished candidates to receive the Adams scholarship," said Ghebremicael. "This scholarship reinforces the idea that I should continue working diligently to promote a tobacco-free lifestyle to my new community in Washington, D.C."

The second scholarship winner, Jacob James Fitisemanu, Jr. of Salt Lake City, UT, is entering his second year of graduate school at Westminster College for a Master's Degree in Public Health. Fitisemanu has a vast background in tobacco prevention and public health experience. Since 2006, he has served as a Steering Committee Member for the Utah Pacific Islander Tobacco Network, helping to develop and implement tobacco-related studies, resources, and programming for Pacific Islanders and youth. He has also worked on public health outreach programming among underserved and diverse communities as the Outreach Coordinator for the Utah Department of Health's Office of Health Disparities since 2011.

"Public health promotion and community tobacco education resonate with my sense of personal purpose and when I look back on my life, I want the satisfaction of knowing that I contributed to a community with fewer obese neighbors, less tobacco-related deaths, and healthier neonates," said Fitisemanu.

In addition to the two winners, two other outstanding student leaders were recognized as honorable mention winners:

  • Kaylea H.K. Chase will be a freshman at Dakota State University this fall. Kaylea is a member of No Limits, a student-led political action group committed to the prevention of tobacco use in youth. She has participated in a variety of outreach projects and attended a "Kick Butts" rally with her peers in her home state of Nebraska and spoke with her Representative to advocate for tobacco-free policies.
  • Roni Jacobson is a Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting graduate student at New York University. Roni has written several published articles on smoking and researched state Medicaid policies for mental health and addiction programs as an assistant at The Carter Center in Atlanta. Providing information about tobacco control and prevention is one of her goals as a science journalist.

For more information about the scholarship visit www.legacyforhealth.org.

*Priority Populations include people with lower socioeconomic status, U.S. racial/ethnic minorities (African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Asian/Pacific Islander), members of lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender communities and other populations that are disproportionately affected by tobacco.

Legacy helps people live longer, healthier lives by building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Legacy's proven-effective and nationally recognized public education programs include truth, the national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy's life-saving programs, visit www.LegacyForHealth.org.

Follow us on Twitter @legacyforhealth and Facebook www.Facebook.com/Legacy.



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