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Torrey Pines student selected to represent Tourette Association of America as Youth Ambassador

Youth Ambassador Jack Story
(Courtesy)

Torrey Pines High School sophomore Jack Story has been selected to represent the Southern California Tourette’s Association Chapter as a Youth Ambassador for the Tourette Association of America. Jack was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome in the third grade.

During a virtual advocacy event on March 3, Jack will speak with elected officials who are participating in raising awareness and advocating for people living with Tourette syndrome, a “neurodevelopmental disorder that becomes evident in early childhood or adolescence. It is part of the spectrum of Tic Disorders and is characterized by motor and vocal tics,” according to the Tourette Association of America, which is a nationwide organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for those affected by Tourette syndrome and Tic Disorders.

Through his involvement with the association and his participation in the event next month, Jack said he’s “spreading awareness” about Tourette’s to help educate the general public about the disorder.

“They just don’t understand the function,” he said. “You know the stereotype that sometimes you yell out, cussing. It’s not like that all the time.”

He also said that he and other advocates are asking Congress to support $2 million in continued federal funding for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research and other efforts on Tourette syndrome.

According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 162 children have Tourette syndrome, but about half are not diagnosed. Boys are up to five times more likely than girls to have the disorder, and children 12 to 17 are more likely to have it compared to younger age groups.

Jack, who said he’s interested in pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering and math, added that he wants to “put aside negative associations” that the public might have about the disorder.

For more information about the Tourette Association of America, go to tourette.org.


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