Jessenia Maldonado of Perth Amboy, a sophomore at Mother Seton Regional High School, is the first place winner in New Jersey of the Moose International Youth Awareness contest. She has earned the distinguished honor of representing New Jersey at the International Youth Awareness Congress in Boston, Massachusetts next month. In addition, as a state winner, she will receive a $1000. 00 scholarship payable to her college of choice.


The Moose International Youth Awareness Congress is the culmination of the annual Youth Awareness program of the Loyal Order of Moose. At both the state and international levels, the participants discuss how to use their influence to encourage students aged four to nine years old to make healthy and wise choices in their lives.


Jessenia was required to give a minimum of three presentations entitled “Moose KidTalks” to groups of youngsters in this age range within their local communities. “I chose to do this project because nowadays many children struggle to embrace who they are”, she says. “My goals were to teach the children to be proud of themselves and all of their accomplishments big or small, to be their own individual person, to be a leader and not a follower and to promote self-confidence”.


At the international competition next month Jessenia will compete for a $12,000 college scholarship. “Although I taught the groups that we are all different in many ways and we must celebrate our differences, they understood the point that we are all equal in our self-worth”, she says.