Teen teaches kids about oral hygiene

Raising awareness about dental hygiene to elementary students, sophomore Ravyn Wilkins went off to nationals for a youth awareness competition supported by the Moose Lodge, and came back with a great experience and new friends.

To begin, Wilkins had to talk to students about dental hygiene, make a video about it and finally turn it into the Moose Lodge.

“My aunt and uncle told me about it, and they know that I have no problem with talking to students,” Wilkins said. “So they asked me if I wanted to do it.”

Wilkins got $1,600 from winning state. Her project was to make elementary students aware about something in their lives, and chose to teach them about dental hygiene.

“The Moose Lodge paid for all of my expenses to go on the trip,” Wilkins said.

While she was at nationals competing, she got to explore the battlefield of Gettysburg, a museum and the state capitol.

She feels her project needs to be remastered by talking to more people, and coming up with creative ideas.

“I didn’t know what to expect this year, but now I know exactly what to do better,” she said.

Raising awareness about safety is one of the topics she is considering for next year; however, her options are still open until then.

Growing up, Wilkins always looked up to the teenagers that visited her school when she was younger and always wanted to be that role model for little kids.

The friendships Wilkins made at the national competition were ones that she will never forget, and she will always cherish them.

“I met a girl from Alaska, a guy from New York, Virginia and from Oklahoma,” She said. “It was amazing to [meet other people].”

The saddest part was leaving all of her friends and the competitors she met, not to mention the seniors that won’t be there next year.

“I’m hopefully getting a phone soon so I can tell them all about my life,” Wilkins said.

Wilkins’ mother, Priscilla Wilkins, feels that her daughter’s passion is something to be happy about.

“We’re so proud of her. She never ceases to amaze me,” Priscilla said. “She always sees things to the end.”

She also feels that Wilkins’ leadership and prioritizing skills are both great factors in this experience. According to Priscilla, Wilkins got things together and she is pretty level-headed.

“I know that later in life she will always go far, she has a take-charge personality when she does a project,” she said. “She doesn’t know a stranger and is able to fit in and communicate.”

To Priscilla, this experience will help Wilkins develop strong leadership skills.

“She just got her feet wet, and now she is really giving back to the community,” she said.

Freshman Zowie Smith was one of Wilkins’ competitors, and her project was about bullying. Smith feels that the program is used for the good of the community by teaching kids how to be better in the near future.

“I got a really positive vibe,” she said. “I tried to get them active and involved.”

There were only about four students competing. Smith and Wilkins made it through to go to nationals.

“I’m just really happy that Ravyn moved forward in that,” Smith said.

This experience has helped Wilkins achieve in life by raising youth awareness in younger kids, as well as helping her become the best she can be in life.