YRCP Presents at Health Department

Fourteen members of STEAM ONWARD’s youth group Young Researchers Community Project (YRCP) presented an update on their ANTI-VAPING projects at Tobacco and Cancer Coalitionheld at the Charles County (MD) Health Department. The youth are creating short peer-peer public service announcements along with outreach presentations. 

In addition to YRCP, other organizations presented including a breast cancer survivor and her husband who spoke vividly about their life with stage 4 cancer. Their testimony and experiences put the prevention work the youth are doing into a whole other light. 

The cancer survivor expressed how she lost both breasts and all her hair. With a six year old son to still raise, she only wanted to see him graduate. I could see the shock and angish on some of the faces of the YRCP members as she pleaded with them to self examine and compel their love ones to get early cancer screenings. 

Hearing from the cancer survivors made all our fun and creative work meaningful from a life or death perspective. I feel it made YRCP’s youthful efforts toward prevention much more important.


It’s Not Just Vapor

E-Cigarettes being safe is a myth”. That was the theme of Steam Onward’s first youth Anti-Vaping peer-to-peer campaign. Back during the 2015-2016 program year youth participants in Steam Onward’s Young Researchers Community Project (YRCP) created a short public service announcement (PSA) for the Charles County, Maryland Department of Health.

During the 2016-2017 program year the youth project expanded. Steam Onward was again contracted by the Charles County Department of Health to produce youth created PSAs on the health effects of  e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). As part of this Anti-Electronic Nicotine Campaign the youth developed the slogan IT’S NOT JUST VAPOR to educate other youth about the harmful chemicals that exist in ENDS.

For the IT’S NOT JUST VAPOR campaign the youth used their cellphones to create a 40 second PSA that aired for 9 weeks (May 26 – July 29) at the AMC St. Charles 9 Movie theater in Waldorf. According to the National CineMedia (NCM) Audited Summary Report the youth created PSA aired 2,092 times from May – July. 

The estimated audience attendance during those weeks was 122,405.  If 25% of movie theater attendees were present in the theater at the time the PSA aired that would be approximately 30,600 viewer impressions.  If only 10% of movie theater attendees were present in the theater at the time the PSA aired that would be approximately 12,240 viewer impressions.

In order to brand the idea that the vapor emitted from ENDS do indeed contain harmful chemicals Steam Onward proposes to enhance the IT’S NOT JUST VAPOR campaign during 2017 – 2018.

Bonita Adeeb, Steam Onward President