Brower Youth Awards

Jessica Assaf

San Rafael, CA

Jessica was shocked to learn that many personal care products contain chemicals that have been linked to cancer and reproductive ailments. Working with the Teens for Safe Cosmetics Campaign, Jessica created “Operation Beauty Drop” during which large bins were placed in public malls for teenagers to drop off their toxic beauty products. The collected products were sent back to the manufacturers with a petition signed by the teens demanding the reformulation of products without toxic chemicals. As support for Jessica‚Äôs program grew, so did her belief that she could institute change on a larger scale and in individuals’ lives. With four of her friends, Jessica lobbied senators and the California governor’s office to pass SB484, a bill that requires cosmetics manufacturers to inform the Department of Health Services if their products contain carcinogens or other toxic substances. After the successful and unexpected passage of SB484 on October 7, 2005, she organized a Teens for Safe Cosmetics Summit educating teens from around the country on how to conduct their own safe cosmetic campaigns. Over thirty students took part in the workshops and began their own projects in their communities.