DJ Hammer

Last school year, Adna High School (AHS) freshman DJ Hammer was discouraged by the drinking, smoking and drug use he saw among his classmates and peers. Armed with an equal mix of courage and determination, DJ took a stand against the destructive behavior within his school by organizing the first-ever AHS Prevention Club. DJ, along with several other students who wanted to make a difference, set out to educate AHS students and younger kids about the consequences of tobacco, drug and alcohol use.

The club organized lunchroom information activities, gave tobacco education presentations to local elementary school students, designed an educational prevention website, and recruited other students to join their efforts. Last spring DJ attended the Washington State Youth Prevention Forum with a prevention club from his Chehalis Tribe, where he gained new information and prevention activity ideas that he shared with his Adna team. Shortly following the Youth Forum, the Adna club took part in its first formal Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU) training. The training empowered the Adna team to focus solely on tobacco prevention and resulted in a club name change to Adna TATU. The team worked diligently throughout the remainder of the school year and into the summer months providing TATU presentations to their local elementary schools and organizing park clean-up events throughout Lewis County. DJ became a member of his tribe's prevention team, Soaring Eagles: Above the Influence, where he hopes to coordinate a TATU training utilizing the Native American curriculum.

Because of his exemplary work and efforts in tobacco prevention, DJ was recognized as a nominee for the Youth Leadership Prevention Award given each year at the Washington State Prevention Summit. The Chehalis Tribe also honored him with a Pendleton blanket in recognition of his volunteer time and prevention efforts. It is the American Lung Association's great honor to present DJ Hammer as Volunteer of the Week.