Annalie Strong, a ninth grade Minnesota Connections Academy student from Farmington, has been selected as one of this year's 39 youth ambassadors for the Tourette Association of America.
Annalie shared her story with representatives in Washington, D.C., during the Association's National Advocacy Day on March 5, and advocated for public policies and services for people affected by Tourette syndrome and tic disorders.
An estimated 1-in-100 school-aged children in the U.S. has Tourette syndrome or a related tic disorder, which causes them to make sudden uncontrollable movements and sounds called tics. Annalie has completed a comprehensive training to learn how to speak publicly about the often misunderstood disorder. In addition, she helps educate her peers and local community on how to promote understanding and social acceptance of TS and its symptoms through presentations at schools, clubs and community centers.
The Tourette Association launched the youth ambassador program in April 2008. It has grown to nearly 400 dedicated teens who have completed more than 1,000 activities including presentations, print and TV media interviews, and training other youth ambassadors to reach more than 5.5 million people through their combined efforts.
For more information about the youth ambassador program, visit www.tourette.org.