HAMPDEN — Chloe Thurlow, an eighth grade student at Reeds Brook Middle School, was awarded first place at the national level of Modern Woodmen of America’s 2014 School Speech Contest. She is the daughter of Amy Grant Thurlow and Charles Thurlow.
Thurlow received recognition and a $2,000 award on Aug. 8 in Portsmouth, N.H. Modern Woodmen president and CEO Kenny Massey presented the award.
As winner of the fraternal organization’s annual contest, Thurlow earned a $2,000 savings plan and two award plaques, one for the recipient and one for the school. Modern Woodmen financial representative Dave Tudor of Lincoln, sponsored the local contest.
The topic for the nationwide contest was “The Importance of Healthy Living.” Contest participants were asked to consider how maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for individuals, communities or the nation as a whole.
Thurlow’s speech discussed the importance of self-confidence and how it contributes to three significant aspects of healthy living: physical, mental and social healthiness. Thurlow explained that “self-confidence means being able to build an unbreakable wall around the part of your heart that aches when you hear or see something that makes you drip with insecurity.”
Thurlow’s speech addressed concerns over negative self-perception and the impact media can have on young adults, teens and even elementary school children.
For more than 60 years, the School Speech Contest, one of six youth educational programs sponsored by Modern Woodmen, has been provided to schools across the country at no charge. Nearly 100,000 young people competed in 2014, of which 26 advanced to the national judging in July.
For information about Modern Woodmen and its free youth educational programs, call Dale Tudor at 794-8000 or go to modern-woodmen.org.