Students Launch Public Health Ambassador Program to Demand Better COVID Protections

A group of students from around the country met virtually last week to announce the launch of ProtectUS’ Student Health Ambassador Program. They were joined by ProtectUS co-founder Crystal Strait, San Juan Unified President Paula Villescaz, and California Sen. Richard Pan, a practicing pediatrician who has been a leader in the state’s fight against COVID-19.

The mission of the Student Health Ambassador Program is to secure greater public health protections for students amid the Delta wave. The group will support and encourage students to speak up and demand protective measures like masking, vaccine clinics and education, and other sanitation and mitigation measures in school.

.Kimiya, a 12th grader in Fresno and the co-director of Innovation and Strategy for GENup, mentioned the flood of anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers who have been disrupting school board meetings and spreading misinformation across the country.

“We absolutely will not sit by as anti-vaccine extremists infect our schools and school board meetings and create environments which make it unsafe for us to be with fellow students,” added Arin, a 9th grader in San Jose and the founder of Teens for Vaccines.

They were also joined by UC San Diego freshman Genavieve and a 12-year-old student from the state of Texas, which is experiencing one of the worst COVID-19 waves in the country right now.

“Out here in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has banned schools and school districts from imposing mask mandates,” said Ayaan. “How is it that in this country everything gets turned into a political matter? This is not about being a Democrat or a Republican. This is about being an American citizen. This is a matter of life and death. Why is my right to safety and education less valuable than if Greg Abbott wins or loses the election in 2022? Why am I the one sitting at home because others refuse to wear masks?”

Read more about the work of ProtectUS here and watch the virtual launch of the Student Health Ambassador Program above.

K-12

Tuesday, September 27, 2022 - 02:40

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