PHAST— pronounced "fast"— is a youth coalition dedicated to Protecting Health And Slamming Tobacco by organizing peer education and advocacy projects in schools and communities across Stanislaus County. PHAST is a joint project between the Stanislaus County Office of Education TUPE Program, the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency Tobacco Education Program, & Memorial Medical Center. Founded in 2005 with chapters at Ceres, Oakdale, Orestimba and Pitman high schools. Today, the coalition boosts more than 900 student members from 30 high schools.
Our youth coalition is centered on the youth development and resiliency principles of Bonnie Bernard. We believe that students who have caring relationships, high expectations and opportunities for meaningful participation will be able to not only be resilient in their lives but are equip to make lasting change in our community. Our program gives each student that opportunity.
PHAST is the youth development vehicle that empowers youth, helps youth use their voice, ensures lasting change in our community and creates the next generation of nicotine-free advocates.
Build peer tobacco education skills by participating in training events
For example: the annual PHAST Tobacco Slam Training where 250 high school students attend and receive training on tobacco 101, emerging trends, creating Public Service Announcements, organizing campus/community activity planning, how to be an advocate and much more.
Conduct tobacco education activities
For example: Campus Tobacco Prevention Education Campaigns held on campuses annually. Red Ribbon Week in October, Great American Smoke-out in November, Escape the Vape in January, Through with Chew in February and Take Down Tobacco in April. PHAST clubs are tasked with educating their peers through campus tabling events, morning announcements, relays, contests, rallies and much more.
Conduct community advocacy activities to promote nicotine-free living
For example: Butt Hunts or Cigarette litter Cleanups. Our Youth Coalition has collected more than 60,000 butts in parks across the county. We use these butts as data to raise awareness about the problem of smoking in parks. On average we collect over 80 butts per volunteer hour.
Participating High Schools
Expertise on developing resiliency skills in youth and providing programs geared towards positive youth development.
Direct services to the 30 high schools included in the PHAST Youth Coalition.
Communicating regularly with each school site selected Site Advisor to coordinate the day to day operations of the individual chapters.
Numerous incentives to promote a tobacco-free lifestyle as well as assistance with campaign materials, brochures, and fact sheets.
Statewide leadership opportunities for PHAST Youth Coalition members
Protecting Health and Slam Tobacco by organizing peer education and advocacy projects in our schools, our communities, and throughout Stanislaus County, with creative and collaborative style.
PHAST strives to be a youth coalition respected statewide for our active and enthusiastic programs that educate our peers on the dangers of tobacco use, and counter pro-tobacco influences through our empowered community advocacy.