Great American Smokeout Inspires Students  

Great American Smokeout Mock News Conference speaker Darren Gholston, left, shows off a sketch by North
High student Calvin Isaac. Calvin was inspired by Darren and wanted to pay tribute to him through his art.

Local musician, Darren Gholston, was the keynote speaker during the annual Kern County Great American Smokeout Mock News Conference, which gave more than 100 middle and high school students interested in health education and journalism the opportunity to gain real-world experience as reporters and prevention advocates.

KERO-ABC 23 anchor, Feven Kay, served as this year’s guest journalist and provided insight into her career and gave students tips on how to write an effective news story.

Throughout the day, students received insight from numerous presenters who imparted life lessons and addressed the many hazards of smoking and the importance of healthy living.

Panelists included:

Jasmine Ochoa, Health Educator, Kern County Public Health Services Department
Kevin Charrette, KGET Morning and Noon Weather Anchor, CEO Thumbs Up Cancer Down
Dr. Susan Bradshaw, M.D., MPH, Department of Public Health in the County of Los Angeles

Students were then tasked with writing/producing a news story or video PSA related to what they learned throughout the day.