Cyber Youth

Through funding from the New Mexico Department of Health, in partnership with Holy Cross Hospital Community Wellness Program, La Plaza provided training for 6 area youth in media literacy, tobacco use, prevention and control issues, and website design during the 2001-2002 school year. Youth researched and produced a website "Teens Unfiltered" addressing tobacco issues including health effects of tobacco use, chemicals in tobacco, costs of tobacco use, tobacco legislation, tobacco addiction, quitting tips and where to avoid smoking in Taos.

Website design and multimedia training were provided by La Plaza Telecommunity staff member Nancy Montano, who has worked with Taos area youth through the McCune Foundation funded "OPEN STUDIO: The Arts Online Youth Project", which assisted youth to develop skills in computer technology, communications and multimedia presentations and to establish a youth-centered production team to develop a virtual archive of cultural activities, artifacts and oral histories of Taos County. Dan Marano from Taos Talking Picture Festival Teen Media Literacy Forum provided training in Media Literacy. 

CyberYouth Jason Calhoun, Cameron Gillen, Katie Gillen, Ashley Jarrett, Jason McCarthy, and Tristen Montoya researched tobacco topics through online resources. They also had an opportunity to interview local health care providers Betsy Martinez, Penasco Health Clinic, Paul Sands, Taos Cardiac Pulmonary Wellness Center and Deb Ungar, Smoking Cessation Facilitator for Holy Cross Hospital Community Wellness Center as well as community residents living with the challenges of tobacco withdrawal or chronic illness caused by long-term tobacco use. 

Participating youth received academic credit, and monetary stipend upon completion of the CyberYouth Project.  The "Teens Unfiltered" website is linked to the Taos Talking Picture Festival 2002 Pixels website and the Cyberyouth have presented their project on KRZA and KTAO radio. A Taos World Premier of the "Teens Unfiltered" website is scheduled for Saturday, May 4th at Rio Grande Hall at the Taos Convention Center. For more information about CyberYouth contact Barb Hau