CATCH My Breath
Matthew is a current junior at the Morris County School of Technology studying healthcare sciences. He is beyond excited to have the opportunity to advance his role as a passionate anti-vape advocate. He has grown a keen interest in public health advocacy in the past few years and has been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with respected professionals and representatives from the United Nations. In Matthew’s view, the nicotine vaping prevention movement does not only require the expertise of scientists and the guidance of researchers, but it also requires the intel of passionate youth advocates.
The youth of current society should be considered the guardians of the future because they have the power to change today’s bad habits. This generation certainly has the potential to be the generation that refuses to allow nicotine and other addictive substances control the lives of its users. CATCH My Breath gives students this voice to spark change. Matthew is eager to see what the inaugural CATCH My Breath Youth Advisory Board of Directors can achieve!
Kristyn Miyamoto is a junior at Moanalua High School. She enjoys both music and medicine, believing that she can make a difference in the world by sharing her gifts. She has played the violin since she was six and the french horn since she was fourteen. Music rehearsals and performances make up a significant chunk of her schedule, and she embraces every second of it.
Kristyn also is the Hawaii HOSA State President. She competed in the State Leadership Conference when she was a freshman in high school and placed first in Nutrition. Afterward, she competed in the International Leadership Conference where she placed second in Nutrition. HOSA exposed her to a variety of people and professions that she wouldn’t have seen otherwise, giving her a clear purpose for her future. The purpose of giving back to the world. CATCH My Breath prevents young people from going down a path of addiction and her values clearly align with CATCH My Breath. Kristyn is excited to start working with the Youth Advisory Board of Directors to create stronger programs that will help youth around the country get a solid start in life.
Rithika Padyala is a current junior attending Cumberland Valley High School. She enjoys taking on leadership roles in both her community and school to make a positive difference in any way she can. She is most proud of her accomplishments as a board member at her school for the international service organization—Key Club and her active involvement in local retirement communities. She is passionate about her love for traveling. After spending a summer traveling the streets of Europe, she has a dream to travel all over India, her ancestral homeland. In her free time, Rithika finds herself spending time with her younger brother or studying linguistics. Ever since she was ten years old, Rithika had her heart set out for cardiology. She would love to study medicine to become a cardiothoracic surgeon.
Rithika’s advocacy journey had started young this year. She is a part of the Youth Advisory Board for her township and more specifically its community service committee where she discusses the importance of community service and opportunities to give back to the community. She is most eager to initiate conversation with fellow peers about nicotine prevention and most importantly to spread awareness.
Sung Jun (Robin) is a current Junior in a high school in Los Angeles, California, and currently serves as the President of the Southern Los Angeles Chapter of the Global NGO Medlife. He has also served as the class representative to his high school's Student Council for the past two years and currently serves as the co-president of his school's Pre-med club and is one of the Senior Editors of his school newspaper. Robin is originally from South Korea and came over to the States when he was in 5th grade. He has gone to school in New York, Maryland, and California.
He has been involved with various tobacco prevention programs such as the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and the Take Down Tobacco Movement ever since middle school. Robin is also actively involved in his community as a volunteer at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Los Angeles and has experience serving as a summer shadowing intern at UC Irvine School of Medicine in Orange County, California. It was at these medical facilities where Robin was able to meet a variety of patients who had to suffer the horrid consequences of smoking. Ever since these firsthand encounters with the pain and suffering tobacco brought to its victims, Robin has been actively involved in spreading the message against nicotine vaping throughout his community.
Victoria Ren is a 16-year-old high schooler from Pittsburgh, PA. She's interested in education and policy and enjoys exploring these two areas through mentoring younger students for STEM & Buds and competing in speech and debate. This year, she’s excited to serve on the CATCH My Breath Youth Advisory Board of Directors and learn more about science communication and public health. Outside the classroom, she loves FINNEAS, the show Atlanta, and crocs.
Alicia Roice is a junior at Mountain House High School in Mountain House, California. As a member of the CATCH My Breath Youth Advisory Board of Directors (YA BOD), she hopes to advocate for vaping and tobacco prevention as an extension of her passion for mental health advocacy. She wants teens to be able to live healthy lives and make choices for themselves, but not at the behest of a vape or cigarette. She hopes that by educating the teenage population on the dangerous effects of e-cigarettes, nicotine usage, and vaping, she will be able to grapple at one of the causes of negative mental health among the teenage population. Through this, she hopes to create a population of teenagers ready to live to their potential, without the use of a vape or cigarette.
Apart from the YA BOD, Alicia participates in many extracurricular activities as a part of the Varsity team on her school’s Science Olympiad team, an avid HOSA member and competitor, secretary of her Active Minds chapter, and a seasoned science fair participant. She has a deep passion for the medical field, and she dreams of becoming a child and adolescent psychiatrist and neuroscience researcher in the future.