Community Spotlight: Marion County native Wesley Sapp is Named a Truth Initiative Youth Activism Fellow
March 24, 2016

Truth Initiative honored North Marion High School alumni Wesley Sapp as a 2016 Youth Activism Fellow, where he will be trained to work on behalf of the national campaign to end the tobacco epidemic.


Youth Activism Fellows are tasked with projects to help their communities counteract tobacco industry efforts meant to reach those who are least aware they are being manipulated; namely our youth and young adults. The Fellows act as “boots on the ground” on behalf of the Truth Initiative, to ensure that tobacco policy and project needs are being met throughout the communities. 

Thirty Youth Fellows were selected for 2016, including two from Florida.
Sapp, of Anthony, Florida, is a former member of the North Marion High School Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) Club. While at North Marion, he established the “Drive for Life” program to educate students about the dangers of distracted driving, a program that is still going strong. He continues to champion this cause by serving as a board member of the Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition. 

Sapp is currently a student at Florida State University studying history. At Florida State, a campus that went 100 percent tobacco-free in January, 2014, Sapp is Assistant Director at The Office of Servant Leadership and a University Ambassador to prospective students. As a Youth Activism Fellow, he chose to work with Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community College to assist them in becoming 100 percent tobacco-free. These are the last two colleges in Tallahassee working on the issue. Once they make the transition, Tallahassee will set a strong, tobacco-free example for the rest of the country to follow.

Truth Initiative is a national public health organization that is inspiring tobacco-free lives and building a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco
Mr. Sapp said that the Truth Initiative is doing its best to help youth make informed choices, and as an organization, they have helped to drive the youth smoking rate to a current, historic low of 7 percent. “We are leaving a positive legacy through our work,” he said.

Shortly after becoming a Youth Activism Fellow, Mr. Sapp was appointed to the Truth Initiative’s Board of Directors as the Youth Board Liaison. Everywhere he goes, his intelligence and polished public speaking skills propel him to deserved leadership positions, and we could not be more proud of this Marion County native as he continues to make his mark and make a difference in young peoples’ lives.