News and Events

STR8 UP Youth Ministry Partners with the Tobacco Free Partnership of HIghlands County to Create a Faith-Based SWAT Club in Lake Placid
November 15 , 2013

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Highlands County was happy to welcome its first ever community-based SWAT club this quarter.

STR8 UP Youth Ministry is a non-denominational faith- based community youth center. It is the vision of Sammy and Dana Telesco, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The STR8 UP Youth House is a safe place for middle and high school age young people to come and learn about Jesus, get academic help, and enjoy athletics and much more, all under the guidance of mentors and tutors.

On November 15th, Dr. Barry Hummel and Amanda John hosted a recruitment event at STR8 UP in Lake Placid. Dr. Hummel did a presentation to over 40 kids and obviously made a huge impression because over 16 kids signed up for SWAT.


“I am so thrilled that we have our first community based club, but even more thrilled because it’s also the first faith based club,” said Amanda John, Tobacco Prevention Specialist. “We had quite a few sign up, but will have access to so many more because of the number of kids that go to STR8 UP. I just know this is going to be one powerful SWAT club!”

"I was amazed at the level of participation," said Dr. Hummel. "The kids asked incredibly inciteful questions. I can hardly wait to see how this club grows under the leadership of Sammy and Dana. They have their hearts in the right place, and I see great things happening in Lake Placid."

The new SWAT club is planning its first meeting in December, and the Telescos are looking to get the New Year kicked off with a bang!

For more information on the SWAT program in Highlands County, contact Amanda John at