Finch Honors Youth Activist

February 12, 2014

Today, Assemblyman Gary Finch (R,C,I-Springport) and the New York State Legislature proudly recognized Matthew Jones, Reality Check’s Youth Advocate of the Year for the Central New York Region.

Reality Check of New York is a statewide, teen-led movement against the tobacco industry and its deceptive marketing practices. Jones was instrumental in apprising Cayuga County legislators of the negative impact that tobacco advertising imparts on teenagers. Jones called on the legislators to draft a bill to restrict retailers from selling cigarettes in close proximity to schools. It passed.

“On behalf of my colleagues in the New York State Assembly, I want to congratulate Matthew for his deserved award and thank him for his important service to our community. Central New York is a safer, healthier place because of Matthew’s advocacy. His story is a sterling example of how concerned citizens can effectuate concrete change in our state government,” said Finch.

Jones, a volunteer firefighter, also performs in Auburn High School’s marching and jazz bands. He speaks fluent Italian. He participates in New Visions, a scholastic program for students interested in pursuing careers in health care. He plans to attend pharmacy school.