News and Events

Meet Cecile Gomez, SWAT Advisor at Richardson Sixth Grade Academy
September 10, 2020

Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) is a statewide youth organization working to mobilize, educate and equip Florida youth to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco. SWAT is a united movement of empowered youth working towards a tobacco free future.

In Columbia County, we have active clubs throughout middle and high school that are working hard to educate other students about the manipulative tobacco companies and dangers of tobacco use and secondhand smoke. We also have great advisors that lead and support these excellent students in their efforts. We would like to feature an enthusiastic advisor and thank her for her hard work leading our youth.

  "My name is Cecile Gomez. I received my bachelor’s degree in Sociology at Jacksonville University. I teach PE at Richardson Sixth Grade Academy. This will be my second year as a SWAT advisor. Last year we had over 30 members and I enjoyed learning together about the tobacco industries. I say we learned “together” because we truly did just that. I have never used tobacco, so to be honest I was not all familiar with it.    

"Prepping for each meeting that we had, as well as events SWAT hosted, I learned so much and realized how important it is for not only youth, but adults to know how harmful Tobacco can be! My favorite part of being a teacher is watching the “light bulb” go off.  For some, this takes time, but whether it is in my class, in a different subject area, or even in SWAT club the reward of a student mastering a concept is the best part of what I do."

  1. What do you like most about being a SWAT advisor? Educating students on the big tobacco industry and seeing them share the news with others.
  2. Why is teaching tobacco prevention and education to youth important to you? It is important to me because I have seen how these big tobacco companies target youth, and if not educated or informed, kids can easily fall into their trap.
  3. What are some creative ways you engage with students? Creative ways I get my students involved and enjoy what they are doing include: sharing facts with peers through morning announcements, making posters, and doing raffle drawings about tobacco use. The kids learn the most by teaching others. I keep them active by informing and setting them up in situations that can reach a lot of youth. For example, the cafeteria, or the gym. The kids love being leaders as well as being a part in teaching their peers.
  4. How are you handling challenges with Covid-19 and managing SWAT students? I am managing the challenges of Covid-19 by using safety precautions. At this time, our school has put in place many procedures that help prevent the spread of Covid and keeping students safe. Some of these include social distancing, transitioning at different times, providing sanitation resources. The kids have a great understanding of the precautions and have been implementing them in SWAT as well!

If you would like to learn more about SWAT, visit
For more information about the local SWAT chapter in Columbia County, contact Brooke Frye at