Etowah High School student Evan McKenzie was selected to participate in the seventh annual Tourette Syndrome Youth Ambassador Training for teens based on his application and essay of intent.
“I applied to become a youth ambassador because I saw a need to educate my peers,” McKenzie said, “and to dispel the myth and stereotypes associated with the TS disorder.”
The three-day training program is open to teens from 13 to 17 years old, both with and without Tourette syndrome.
McKenzie plans to travel to various schools, classrooms, youth centers and clubs in the state to promote better understanding, sensitivity and tolerance of Tourette syndrome symptoms, and ultimately, he said hopes to establish a Tourette youth hotline to help people experiencing related crises.
The youth ambassador training program was designed to teach teens how to become advocates for themselves and others diagnosed with the disorder, and to educate the local community with accurate information about Tourette syndrome.
Youth ambassadors had the opportunity to meet politicians, appear in the media and assist in fundraising and awareness-raising campaigns.
On the last day of the training program, McKenzie and other youth ambassadors had the opportunity to travel to the nation’s capital to visit with local elected officials.
McKenzie was accompanied by his mom, L. Annette McKenzie, who also attended the training program.
The Tourette Syndrome Youth Ambassador Training program in Washington, D.C., was put on by the National Tourette Syndrome Association, founded in 1972.
The National Tourette Association directs a network of 32 chapters and more than 55 support groups across the country,
More information can be found at http://tsa-usa.org.