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Walgreens promotes teen health advocacy and awareness through Expressions Challenge

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — In January, Walgreens recognized students, teachers and their schools for their leadership in teen health advocacy and awareness. Students, teachers and schools were awarded more than $28,000 for their contributions to the Expressions Challenge, Walgreens stated. 

More than 1,400 high school teens from Chicago and St. Louis joined the Expressions movement to use their artistic skills to address hard to discuss topics including teen dating violence, plastic surgery, STD prevention, and teen pregnancy. From those who participated, 15 were selected as outstanding peer-to-peer leaders for this crusade.  

John Gremer, director of community affairs at Walgreens, sponsor of the Expressions Challenge, encouraged participants by saying “it’s okay to have your own voice and to express your individuality. When you speak, people will listen because they know your voice is different from everyone else and it matters.”

“Participating in the Expressions Challenge was an eye-opener to the stimulating abilities one positive message can send. I wrote this song [and created a video entitled ‘You Are Beautiful’] for everyone who has ever felt insecure or doubtful about the person they are," commented Jasmine Davidson, media arts finalist for the Expressions Challenge and senior at Carnahan High School of the Future in St. Louis, Missouri. "I once thought I was not deserving of my aspirations, but I soon realized I am here for a greater purpose. Life is about following your dreams and accomplishing your goals, while inspiring others along the way. We cannot let someone’s opinion shape our life choices. When someone hears my song, I want them to feel content with the person they have become, never conforming to absurd society standards."

Alexandria Abraham, senior at Thornton Fractional North High School in Calumet City, Ill., was selected as a peer-to-peer leader for her poem entitled “LEGS,” which shines light on a teenage girl who was “robbed” of her innocence and hope for true love when she was raped. Abraham believes “teenagers will listen to other teenagers more than they will adults. Expressions is a cool way to speak to teens about the importance of sexual responsibility [and date rape].” This program presents teens with the opportunity to learn from their peers through the expression of art, she concluded.

Chicago Winners: In this photo (From left To right): Kathyrn McNulty, Percy Julian High School teacher; Brittany Hammond, 2nd place Multimedia; Laura Larson, George Westinghouse College Prep High School teacher; Nelson Aviles, 1st place Visual Arts; Jemima Adeyinka, 1st place Creative Writing; Vincent Hathhorn, South Shore International College Prep teacher; Alexandria Abraham, 2nd place Creative Writing; Michelle Potter, Thornton Fractional North High School teacher; Jessica Trieu, 1st place Multimedia; John Gremer, Walgreens director of community affairs; Theodora Borland, 2nd place Visual Arts; and Carolyn Bielski, Lake Forest High School teacher

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St. Louis Winners: (From left to right): Marlene Davis, Alderwoman 19th Ward; Craig Schmid, Alderman 20th Ward; Jasmine Davidson, 1st place Media Arts; Kara Bachman, Walgreens store manager; Chellsy Carter, 2nd place Creative Writing; Scott Hoselton, Walgreens community leader; Koran Bolden, founder of Street Dreamz; Dyamond Robinson, 1st place Creative Writing; Marian Philips-Gant, St. Louis County Health Department community health educator; Marina Claunch, 2nd place Visual Arts; Shaun Thomason, Walgreens store manager; Dabreonna Douglas, 2nd place Media Arts; Felicia Mason, Walgreens store manager; and Jason Vongnaraj, 1st place Visual Arts

 

 

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Vapor Corp. launches store-in-store concept

BY Ryan Chavis

DANIA BEACH, Fla. — Vapor Corp., a U.S.-based electronic cigarette company, will unveil a store-in-store "authorized dealer" retail concept at the Tobacco Plus Convenience Expo in Las Vegas, which is set to take place with the Las Vegas Convention Center from Jan. 29 to Jan. 30, 2014.   

The store-in-store concept is designed to support retail sales of VaporX’s line of vaporizers and accessories. Vapor Corp. earlier this year unveiled patent-pending fingerprint technology to enhance parental controls and improve theft protection of its line.

"The knowledge gained from years of maintaining a diverse national retail presence has pointed towards the real need for a branded ‘authorized dealer’ concept where consumers can shop the full line of  VaporX vaporizers and accessories," Vapor Corp. CEO Kevin Frija said. "Our goal is to bring the authorized dealer store-in-store concept, pop-up vapor lounge experience to retailers everywhere. The design of the kiosk will greatly enhance the visibility of the VaporX brand with consumers, who in turn will gain broader access to a variety of disposable and rechargeable vaporizers and accessories."

In addition to the full line of VaporX products and new model, Vapor Corp. also will showcase its line of disposable and rechargeable electronic cigarettes from its flagship brand, Krave.

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Report: Flu vaccine proposal for RI preschools gets backlash from ACLU

BY Antoinette Alexander

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A proposed state health department regulation that would require children up to ages 5 years and older to get an annual flu immunization and would keep those with medical exemptions out of school or day care during flu outbreaks has received opposition from the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, according to the Associated Press.

The group has called the regulation a “serious intrusion” on families and the ability for them to make their own health care decisions, the AP reported.

‘While we understand the frustration of public health officials who have been unable to convince parents to willingly vaccinate their children against influenza, state intervention in the medical decisions of families must be limited and rare,’’ ACLU policy associate Hillary Davis was quoted as saying at a hearing this month.

According to the report, the health department has also proposed mandating the human papillomavirus vaccine series beginning with students entering 11th grade.

 

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