Truth Initiative® is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Alma S. Adams Scholarship for Outreach and Health Communications to Reduce Tobacco Use Among Priority Populations.

Cheyenne Wagi and Jacob Hojnacki were each awarded a $5,000 scholarship and recognized as individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to community service and used creative arts to help raise awareness of tobacco’s harmful impacts in disproportionately affected communities.

Wagi, from Stokesdale, North Carolina, is a first year graduate student at University of South Florida pursuing a dual Master’s of Public Health and Master’s of Applied Anthropology in Medical Anthropology. She already has experience with the deadly impact of tobacco as a health researcher. While conducting research on maternal and child health in American Samoa she discovered a gap in smoking cessation information and resources for pregnant women who smoke. To help close that gap, Wagi has developed a smoking cessation poster showing the effects of smoking on infants, mothers and personal finances.

Hojnacki, from LaPorte, Indiana, will be a first year graduate student at Emory University in the fall and will pursue a Master’s of Public Health. He has educated more than 1,300 asthmatic children about the dangers and effects of tobacco use, the importance of being smoke-free and avoiding secondhand smoke. Hojnacki has created a breathing device using balloons as lungs to help the children visualize and better understand the effects of using tobacco products. 

Five other outstanding young scholars earned Honorable Mention scholarships of $1,000 each, including Autumn Robertson of Marshall, North Carolina, Ahlam Bokari of Dearborn, Michigan, Angel Hill of Columbia, North Carolina, Claudia Nunez-Medina of Denver, Colorado, and William Jeffcoat of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The scholarship program is named after Dr. Alma S. Adams, a founding board member of Truth Initiative who is currently serving as a member of Congress representing North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District. Each year, Truth Initiative recognizes undergraduate and graduate students who are dedicated to achieving a tobacco-free generation and pursuing study at an accredited institution of higher learning in the U.S.

For more information, email [email protected].