Marco Zenone is currently an undergraduate student studying Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. Marco has extensive experience in advocacy and health promotion from working with numerous community organizations on a wide variety of topics, such as injury prevention and smoking cessation. His passion for health promotion is derived from the very simple belief that people should be empowered to have control over their own health and well-being. Marco shares his experience as a student delegate at the 6th Global Forum below…
The 6th Global Forum on Health Promotion proved to be an exceptional experience and one that I feel will benefit my career for many years to come. As a young person, it was most valuable and inspiring to interact and learn from health promotion professionals who have had significant impacts in their communities and beyond. Their accomplishments in the face of adversity have inspired me to work on the most complex of issues and not to be discouraged by the obstacles I will face.
From the very start of the Global Forum, I felt very involved and engaged. I credit the organizers for this, as it was evident that engaging youth and emerging leaders was a high priority when planning the Forum events. There was a significant emphasis on preparing the emerging leaders in for their careers in health promotion and providing opportunities for us to voice our opinions in a receptive environment. It was an amazing experience because we were able to tell the most respected health promotion leaders what we need from them in order to succeed, and in turn they were able to provide us with valuable advice and knowledge to reach our goals. This kind of exchange benefitted not only the youth delegates – you could say it also benefitted the field of health promotion. The youth delegates who attended are motivated, ready to become leaders and continue pursuing the goals and overcoming the obstacles that current leaders are so passionately working on.
I have always been excited to work in the field of health promotion. However, after the Global Forum I have never been as excited as I am now. There has been considerable progress but there is still a substantial amount to accomplish. I will continue to pursue my efforts in empowering people to gain the health and well-being they rightfully deserve and my Global Forum experience has made me even more eager to work towards this goal. I have unwavering confidence the PEI Declaration will be an influential document that will move the health promotion agenda forward for years to come.