Long Island, New York - Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition (HBCAC) is pleased to announce that we have received a grant award from the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) for our project titled Planting the Seeds of Prevention Education: Capacity Building Among Young Leaders! This award will enable HBCAC to train high school and middle school aged students to be Ambassadors for their peers - learning and communicating pertinent health information to other students. Students K-12 are in a developmentally vulnerable window of their life where they are more susceptible to the exposures around them. Personal care products are a constant source of chemicals that get into our bodies and go down our drains, they can have a lasting impact on both human and environmental health.
“Keeping our youth informed and aware of how to reduce toxic chemical exposure is an important part of pollution prevention outreach and education. We are pleased to support Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition’s project to develop new young leaders who will encourage their community to make safer choices and ultimately contribute to an overall reduction in the use of hazardous chemicals.” said Charles Ruffing, director of NYSP2I.
NYSP2I is funded by the Environmental Protection Fund administered by the New York State Department of Conservation and has been engaged in supporting a variety of projects across New York State to enhance the well-being of communities for 10 years. All of their projects focus on creating New York State more sustainable for workers, the public, our environment, and the economy.
Our program trains our future leaders and empowers young students with the knowledge to make their own choices for the betterment of the community.“I was first approached with the prospect of involving students in the program over ten years ago. Since that time, I have been a proud witness of the success achieved by many students in two different districts, not only in terms of their conducting cutting-edge scientific research but also in their using the experiences as guiding forces toward a related course of college study and/or career.” Said James Polansky, Superintendent of the Huntington Union Free School District.
Our partnerships between organizations like NYSP2I, schools, and research institutions are what really make our program great. The Icahn School of medicine at Mount Sinai is a partner in this project with us and has continuously shown support for our program through collaboration and engaging with our students through mentorship. Sarah Evans, PhD MPH of the Icahn School of Medicine explains, "Children and teens are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of environmental exposures largely because their brains and reproductive systems are still developing. Educating this population to make safer choices and support initiatives that reduce the use of harmful chemicals will have widespread positive impacts on future generations."
As a 30 year organization on Long Island, HBCAC is always looking to enhance our mechanisms of delivering health information and resources to the public. It is support from great institutes like NYSP2I that make HBCAC's mission stay alive and thrive!
"Our valuable partnerships are so appreciated. These kids are our future, it is our job to provide them with the tools that will pave the way to a happier, healthier future for themselves and their communities," says Melanie Gabrell, Associate Executive Director of HBCAC.