For the past 30 years, Moose Lodges and Chapters have organized high school students into highly effective speakers with the goal of educating preschool and elementary school-aged children on a variety of topics, including drug and alcohol abuse, child abuse, “stranger danger”, bullying and peer pressure, and healthy habits and nutrition.
Students enrolled into the program present Moose Kids Talks to 4 to 9 year old children in their communities, then submit their presentations to be judged by high school officials for a chance to become a Delegate at the Moose International Student Congress held in April of each year.
The Delegate's Moose Kids Talks are then voted on by each student at the Congress and the top 5 winning presentations are awarded scholarship money ranging from $2,000-$12,000.
The Virginia Moose Association's Youth Awareness Program has been successful over the years and has proudly produced top 5 winners.
For more information visit their website:
And the 1st Place winner is...
Cheyenne Estep -Timberville 2335
A message from Cheyenne Estep:
For the last four years I have been apart of the Moose Youth Awareness Program on the international and state level. Today I had the honor off accepting the 1st place award now titled Robert (Bob) Neff at the International Moose Youth Awareness Scholarship program in Florida. I have had many topics but this year I gained the confidence to talk about something that needs to be shared more. My topic that I presented to children in my old elementary school was to Embrace Being Different. When deciding on a topic this year that I wanted to cover for my Moose Youth Awareness KidsTalk, I wanted to choose something that was close and relevant to my heart. Growing up at a young age I noticed many of my peers were always smaller than me. I was the girl in class that let her weight define who she was. I would be afraid of what my peers would say if I tried to do something like they did on the playground or nervous if it took me longer to run around the track. This went all the way from elementary school to who I am today. Being the larger girl has always led me to be an outcast in the classroom, in sports, or when trying to make new friends. Imagine being nervous that a coach would call out your tshirt size in front of others, self conscious because your friends may talk behind your back because of your size, doctors telling you to just slow down eating, or the constant comparison that you dealt with because you are not their size. I felt lost and sad that I did not look like the majority of my friends in class. Brown hair, short, skinny, and nicely dressed. Instead, I was known to have brown hair, fat, and be nicely dressed. Sadly, many parents always tell their children to “treat others the way they want to be treated” but that didn’t always stop the crusade of comments like don’t eat icecream with us you don’t need it, you are fat, or why do you eat so much. Now, I am a grown senior in high school that has learned through a difficult way to be comfortable in her own skin, and while I still struggle with my weight today, what if one person other than my family said things were going to be okay? That’s exactly what I did. I let children know it’s okay to be different no matter your size, skin color, height, and more. So like I said yes I was called fat in elementary, middle, and high school but no one told me it was okay. So this opportunity gave me the voice to positively effect younger children and give them the voice they are hopelessly fighting for. I could have not done this for the last four years with the continuous support of my family, Kay Boyer Morrison, Mr. Manny Propst, Virginia / International Moose Associations, Gordie Dailey, Will Harrison, the chaperons, the moderators, and my fellow peers. The $12,000.00 will make an enormous impact as I further my education. If thank you is even enough to say, thank you to the people that have always been on my side. I love this organization and everything it stands for.
Photo by: Cheyenne Estep