Youth Quest Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions About Youth Quest

What is Youth Quest?

Youth Quest is an annual event hosted by the California Youth Advocacy Network (CYAN) to celebrate and promote youth advocacy in tobacco control. Youth Quest provides an opportunity for youth advocates to demonstrate their commitment to a tobacco-free California, learn about current tobacco control efforts, and build their advocacy skills by sharing their local work with legislators.

Where is Youth Quest held?

Youth Quest is held in Sacramento, CA. The first half of the event will take place at the Masonic Temple in Downtown Sacramento. The second half of the event will occur at the State Capitol building.

What is the theme of Youth Quest ?

The theme of Youth Quest changes each year.  The 2018 theme was, “A Health Nation Starts with a Tobacco-Free California, A Healthy California Starts with Tobacco-Free You(th).” The event focused on tobacco issues impacting youth such as flavored products and the power youth have to advocate for change in their communities.

What is the schedule for Youth Quest?

Tentatively, Youth Quest begins at 8:00 am with registration and a continental breakfast. The event will start at 8:30 am and will include a welcome, training, poster making and lunch, followed by a march to the Capitol for a rally and press conference. Legislative visits will begin at approximately 1:00 pm and should be completed by 2:00 pm. Please keep in mind that this schedule is subject to change.

What is the registration process to attend Youth Quest?

Due to limited funding and space, the registration process for Youth Quest is composed of two phases.

During the first phase, organizations will be asked to complete an online application and provide us with information on how many youth and adult participants they anticipate bringing to Youth Quest, what tobacco-related activities youth have been involved in at the local level, and what legislators youth and their adult partners want to visit. CYAN will review applications to determine how many advocates from each organization may attend. When notified, agencies will then be able to register for the event.

The application period the 2019 event will be open in Fall 2018. CYAN will review all applications and inform organizations of the number of youth and adults they can bring to the event in early 2019.  At that time, organizations can register for the event. Registration will close in February 2019.

Questions About Youth Participation

Is there a limit to how many students can attend Youth Quest?

Yes, CYAN can host a total of 300 youth and adult partners.   Youth working with their local health departments will be given priority registration.

Also, due to the limited space in legislative offices, there is a 10-person maximum for each legislative visit. Youth groups from the same localities will need to work together to determine who will represent their community at Youth Quest and the legislative visit(s).

Who should attend Youth Quest?

CYAN highly encourages organizations/agencies to bring youth advocates who are actively engaged in tobacco control at the local level and who are most capable of discussing local activities with their legislators. Youth Quest is a great opportunity to reward youth who have been continuously involved in tobacco control advocacy.

Why are only high school students encouraged to attend?

While CYAN supports youth advocacy regardless of age or grade level, Youth Quest trainings and activities are designed for high school students. It is our hope that youth who attend Youth Quest will share their experiences with younger peers to help prepare the next generation of youth advocates.

What training is CYAN providing at Youth Quest?

Participants will receive training on current tobacco control issues, emerging products, and how to conduct a legislative visit.

Will CYAN provide t-shirts?

Youth participants will receive t-shirts. Adult partners will receive t-shirts in the event that there are extra shirts available.

Questions About Preparing for Youth Quest

How should youth prepare prior to Youth Quest?

Youth and their adult coordinators can prepare for Youth Quest by becoming familiar with tobacco control efforts and concerns in their communities. Attendees are encouraged to reach out to other tobacco control groups in their local areas in order to gather information to include in their presentations. Participants should bring materials that they can use during their legislative visits to showcase their local work.

Will CYAN provide media-release permission slips? Parental permission slips?

Prior to the event, CYAN will provide media release forms to the adult coordinators for parent/guardian signatures for all youth participants. On the day of Youth Quest, coordinators will be asked to turn these forms in at registration. Each group will be responsible for providing and collecting parental permission slips in accordance with their agency’s guidelines. If needed, CYAN can provide sample parental permission slips.

Will there be email reminders prior to the day of Youth Quest?

Yes, email reminders will be sent to youth coordinators. Also, attendees can contact CYAN at any time with questions or concerns.

Will food be provided?

CYAN will provide a continental breakfast and lunch for all participants.  Agencies may want to have youth bring snacks for the trip home.

Who is responsible for covering the cost of travel?

CYAN will not be able to cover any travel costs to or from the event. All travel arrangements and expenses are the responsibility of the agency that is bringing the youth participants.

Will there be a webinar prior to Youth Quest?

Yes! Prior to Youth Quest, CYAN hosts a webinar designed for adult coordinators to provide more information about the event and to answer any questions.

Should youth create posters for the march prior to arrival in Sacramento?

CYAN wants you to travel light. Therefore, youth will have the opportunity to make posters in Sacramento on the day of Youth Quest. Have youth bring creative slogans and ideas for the poster-making session.

Youth are still welcome to bring posters and/or coalition signs and banners to Youth Quest. CYAN will provide poster guidelines to aid in poster development. All posters and signs will be screened prior to the march.

Questions About Legislative Visits

Why are legislative visits a requirement?

Youth Quest is a day of action that highlights youth advocacy in California. Educating decision makers is an effective form of advocacy. A legislative visit puts advocacy into action, essentially capturing the spirit of Youth Quest. CYAN would like Youth Quest to be a meaningful experience in which youth make a contribution and leave with a sense of accomplishment.

Will CYAN schedule legislative visits?

Yes, CYAN will schedule all legislative visits.

Miscellaneous Questions

Are there opportunities to volunteer at Youth Quest?

CYAN welcomes adult volunteers to help on the day of Youth Quest. We will need help with lunch distribution, screening posters prior to march, organizing youth in preparation for the march, and other duties. Thank you in advance for your willingness to help.

Will there be a tabling at Youth Quest? If so, what is the process to reserve a table to display local materials?

Youth groups are encouraged to bring materials and displays that showcase their local advocacy efforts. There will be a question on the registration form to request a table for local agencies to share their work and resources.

How is Youth Quest funded?

CYAN’s Youth Quest event is funded solely by the California Department of Public Health, Tobacco Control Program.

If unable to attend Youth Quest, how can local youth advocates get involved?

In keeping with the spirit of Youth Quest, youth can visit their local legislators or city council to inform and educate them on local tobacco control issues and concerns. Youth can also participate in Kick Butts Day, which takes place on the third Wednesday of March. Sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, “Kick Butts Day is a day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco.” More information can be found at CYAN is happy to assist with ideas on how to host an event for Kick Butts Day.