Judy Hou is a public policy activist dedicated to campaigning for youth tobacco prevention. For the past seven years, Judy has been making her voice heard in the hopes of lowering the number of tobacco-related deaths for future generations. She has been extremely successful in her efforts—she has been invited to the White House for her work, was recognized by the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and was the first minor asked to testify before the FDA! Can you say girl power?
An economics major with a minor in finance at Princeton, Judy is a driven collegiette with plans to enter a predominantly male field. She aims to help women in finance excel by mentoring other students and advising them on how to break into the field. Judy has already secured a post-graduation full-time job in private equity, where women typically account for only ten percent of senior managers, and her goal is to continue working with other women so that they can thrive in that environment. This kind of female empowerment is what we love to see!
Her Campus: What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?
Judy Hou: I think my greatest achievement to date has been the role I played in re-launching the award-winning "truth" public education campaign while sitting on the Truth Initative’s Board of Directors. The Truth Initiative (formerly the "American Legacy Foundation") is the nation’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to youth tobacco prevention, and it has been wonderful to have the opportunity to work alongside CEOs, state senators and state governors on the board who care passionately about the same issue I do—tobacco prevention. The "truth" campaign has been credited with preventing over 450,000 young people from starting to smoke, and it has been called one of the most influential social change campaigns ever. Being able to see my work directly translate into life-saving action has been the most satisfying accomplishment I’ve had to date. Also, seeing the "truth" campaign ads I helped shape air during the MTV Video Music Awards wasn’t so bad either!
HC: What advice do you have for other ambitious collegiettes with a goal/dream?
JH: I’m a big fan of setting concrete signposts for the future, but not laying out each and every nitty gritty step. I think that having a vision for what you’d like to achieve, while allowing for flexibility to arrive at that goal through a number of different routes, is incredibly important to achieving one’s ambitions. That and having laser-focus.
HC: How would you describe yourself in five words?
JH: Proactive, conscientious, excitable, driven, attentive.
HC: How can women who are in predominantly male fields make a difference?
JH: I think just recognizing your value and what you bring to the table can enable you to be the best version of yourself, and that—performing well and executing—will help to slowly change the culture so that women are respected as contributing professionals and are seen no differently than men. While it can sometimes be intimidating walking into a meeting where you’re the only female in a room of fifteen, believing that you not only belong here, but that you also bring a fresh perspective to the table is invaluable.
HC: How can others advocate for tobacco prevention?
JH: It’s incredible the amount of resources there are for people who are interested in getting involved! A number of organizations (like the Truth Initiative, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, and the American Cancer Society) provide exceptional networks, training, and opportunities to get involved at the local, state, and national level at any age. Whether helping to contribute to existing campaigns or starting your own smoke-free college campus campaign, the impact an individual can have in tobacco prevention is astounding.
Jamie is a senior Writing, Literature and Publishing major at Emerson College in Boston, MA. She is the Her Campus Life Editor, a National Contributing Writer, and Campus Correspondent of the Emerson Her Campus chapter. Jamie plans to pursue a career in the magazine industry. See more of her work at: www.jamiemkravitz.com