Hien Nguyen
White Ribbon

AwardWhite Ribbon


SchoolPadua Franciscan High School


CityParma, Ohio


TeacherMary Remington


InternNatalie Balfe


MediumDigital Photography

I grew up in crowded Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and temptations always surrounded me. Smoking became an especially easy habit to adopt. My grandpa smoked, my dad smoked, and even my friends smoked since we do not have a specific law to prevent minors from smoking. It is a shame that some firefighters, whose lungs are already compromised from smoke and chemicals, exacerbate the risks of cardiovascular disease by smoking cigarettes. Under peer pressure, I used to think of smoking, but when my grandpa died of lung cancer, it woke me up. A little cigarette has the power to extinguish one's life, I did not want to destroy mine, and I do not want it to happen to others either, especially those brave men who risk their lives to keep us safe.