ADAPAO Youth Prevention Award 2021 Recipient: Natalie Baker

Posted on: June 14, 2021 9:00 am

Natalie Baker is the second recipient of the ADAPAO Youth Advocate Award, presented to a teen who is a prevention advocate and role model to their peers. (Carly Sells, the other Youth Advocate Award recipient, was profiled in the June 7 Monday Mornings with ADAPAO.)

Natalie is a 2021 graduate of Fredericktown High School in Knox County and a three-year member of the Teen Advisory Council of Knox County, also known as TAC.

 As a youth-led prevention group, TAC is a prevention leader in Knox County, encouraging healthy lifestyles and relationships among young people through school and community programming. Natalie is a pivotal leader for TAC and its many prevention projects and an inspiration to her TAC peers, as well as other teens in the county.

Natalie has been involved in the planning and implementation of the TAC Color Run, a community-based prevention event, for several years. When the Color Run went virtual this past year, Natalie took the lead on the event’s social media promotion to ensure Knox County youth and adult participated, while simultaneously modeling resilience and creativity to her peers.

Natalie’s role modeling and leadership are tied to less flashy efforts, too. After TAC’s recent administration of an environmental scan on mental health to youth in Knox County, Natalie took lead on the follow-up group discussion in her high school. Natalie reviewed her school-specific data, prepared a PowerPoint presentation, and facilitated the dialogue about the data. Natalie’s presentation is leading the school’s Student Council to consider next steps to address anxiety within the student population. Prevention advocacy in action.

Natalie models the behavior she wishes to see in others. She attended a bystander intervention training and then promptly used those skills to stand up for a classmate. She subsequently shared those skills with classmates and encouraged her peers to put them to use.

Prevention has many aspects, but one of its foundational elements is convincing individuals, communities, and populations to commit to healthy, preventive behaviors. Natalie is the epitome of this ethos, because she models those behaviors, both accomplishing the immediate good and influencing her peers to do the same.

For being a prevention advocate and an exemplary role model to her peers, Natalie Baker is a 2021 ADAPAO Youth Advocate Award honoree.