LaTaysha Elder

LaTaysha Elder is a volunteer with the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic in Newark, Delaware. She serves as a Kick Butts Generation (KGB) Advisor for the Edgemoor Gardens Community Center's Guided Approach to Positivity (G.A.P.). Ms. T, as the KBG leaders call her, knows the power of positivity. For years she has worked to send her own children on the path towards a positive future and extends that sense of empowerment to youth throughout her community. As she puts it, LaTaysha founded the Edgemoor Gardens Community Center where she provides her program G.A.P. in response to "seeing youth in the community staying out until 1 or 2 a.m. smoking or carrying on with older youth because they did not have someone to look up to." She recognized problems in the community and developed a plan to address the issues. She contacted the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic last spring to inquire about the KBG Youth Movement and asked how her youth could be involved.

From that first conversation, LaTaysha took action and scheduled a Teens Against Tobacco Use training for the youth at the center. She enlisted the youth attending the training to join her at the KBG Spring Youth Summit two weeks later and continues to bring a strong no-tobacco message to the youth throughout the community. In the summer, LaTaysha held a Tobacco Prevention Carnival with games and prizes for youth participating in the tobacco prevention games. She recruited youth to represent each middle school and high school in her community in the KBG intern program. LaTaysha also volunteered her time at the intern training retreats to provide workshops to develop the interns’ team-building and communications skills. She is always there to lend a hand and is constantly promoting participation by youth in American Lung Association events and activities.

LaTaysha works with a diverse and underserved population. The Edgemoor Gardens Community Center was placed in a strategic location to create a safe haven for youth in community. Her mission is to provide positivity in the lives of youth, no matter what their ethnic, socio-economic, or religious background. She engages youth to participate in the programs and activities at the Center. LaTaysha leads by example and cultivates youth leadership. She focuses on teamwork and how to prepare for a multitude of different group situations.

LaTaysha has a positive attitude towards youth and strongly supports the mission and vision of the Kick Butts Generation and the American Lung Association.