Thania Balcorta is a freshman at the University of California, Davis, where she is pursuing a bachelorís degree in Community and Regional Development. Her fight against tobacco began in eighth grade, and she continues to be committed to acting locally to build a foundation for national change. Now 18, she is the president of her local youth coalition, YUFA STAR -Youth United for Action Showing Tobacco Ain't Right, and she is a council member for Friday Night Live, an alcohol and tobacco prevention organization for the county and state.
Thania has been a member of the California Youth Advocacy Network's youth board of directors since 2004. She has testified before city councils throughout her county regarding increased tobacco sales policies and enforcement, and she also led a successful campaign to make her county fair smoke-free. Thania continues to lead an ongoing campaign to enforce smoke-free policies in her hometown of Davis and has successfully helped pass ordinances prohibiting smoking within 25 feet of playgrounds in Woodland and Winters, California.
In addition to serving as Youth Board Liaison to the American Legacy Foundationģ Board of Directors, Thania is also an active and senior member of the foundationís Youth Activism Council, a diverse group of young advocates that creatively and effectively convey the health risks of using tobacco products to young people as well as providing training and resources to other organizations. Her dedication to tobacco control among youth has been recognized in Time Magazine for Kids as well as CosmoGIRL! Magazine, and she was the recipient of the 2005 Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids award for Youth Advocate of the Year, Western Region.