About This Project


This exhibit is a result of youth work. This work was supported by the Texas School Safety Center and facilitated by the research team from the Texas State University School of Social Work.  Say What! Teen Ambassadors and Consultants shared their stories and insights through photos aka the Photovoice process. Photovoice is a participatory and community-focused research and social change method that puts cameras in the hands of individuals in order to facilitate community change. This project focuses on the experiences, challenges, and insights of 14 Say What! Teen Ambassadors and Consultants. Since May of 2023, the Ambassadors and Consultants took over 150 photos to tell their stories of resilience, friendships, frustration, and thirst for change in tobacco-related policies in their home state of Texas. These stories are intimate accounts of their life experiences and the foundation for their proposals and recommendations. We invite you to explore this exhibit, read their stories, discuss their recommendations, and think about what you can do today to impact youth health, educate others, and empower them to advocate for tobacco-free Texas.

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Photovoice Team

Texas School Safety Center Programmatic Support:

  • Jennifer Steele, Associate Director for Tobacco Prevention and Enforcement
  • Kathleen Bates, Program Manager, Youth Tobacco Prevention



Photovoice Facilitation and Research:

  • Dasha Shamrova, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Social Work at Texas State University (
  • Dianna Matarazzo, BA, Graduate Research Assistant, School of Social Work at Texas State University

© All Rights Reserved


Cite this booklet as


Say What! Teen Ambassadors and Consultants, Shamrova, D., & Matarazzo, D. (2023). Through the Lens: Our Advocacy Journey, an exhibit guide.

SAYWHAT! | Live Tobacco-free


Say What! EST. 2011






Toll Free: 877.304.2727

Local: 512.245.8082

Mailing Address

Texas School Safety Center

ATTN: Say What Program

Texas State University

601 University Drive

San Marcos, TX 78666

Say What! was created and designed by young people from across Texas and connects students interested in eliminating tobacco from their schools and communities. The Say What! movement is funded by the Texas Department of State Health Services through a contract with the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University.