Patrick here, guest blogging ninja, here at the 2012 LGBTQ Health Equity Summit in newly overcast Kansas City, Missouri.
My situation is kind of unique, as I am here technically as a concerned citizen. I started in tobacco control when I was quite young, coming up through the New York State Reality Check program. After joining on to the youth board of directors, I was given the opportunity to work with Legacy as a member of the Speakers Bureau and then as a member of the Youth Activism Council. When I aged out of those programs, I went on to work as a consultant for the state of Montana reACT program, providing training and assistance for them for the better part of 6 years. I have always found a way to stay involved in the tobacco control community, because that is what I was passionate about.
When Montana lost funding and went through a pretty major reorganization, I sort of thought that my tobacco control era was coming to an end. It was unsettling to think that I wouldn’t be doing what I have spent so many years enjoying, and that I wouldn’t ’be able to share my experiences and learn from others in such a dynamic community.
That’s when, thankfully, I checked my inbox. I saw an email come through regarding scholarships to attend the Health Equity Summit, and I knew instantly that I would apply. I truly appreciate being selected as a scholarship recipient. It was an amazing experience I won’t soon forget. Thank you to all the sponsors of the 2012 scholarship recipients- this would truly not have been possible for so many to attend without your support.