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Inspirational message
earns top award

Roofina Ali

A presentation designed to inspire younger children has won a Williams Valley senior a national-level prize.

Roofina Ali won $12,000 in scholarship money with her first-place finish at the 2015 Moose International Youth Awareness Congress, held in Orlando, Fla., earlier this year.

Ali has been a participant in Moose International’s Kids Talks program, in which high school students present their own original and unscripted talks on a variety of talks aimed at four-to-nine-year olds.

The talks ‘‘are intended to encourage the youngest members of the community to make wise and healthy life choices,’’ a Moose International spokesman said.

Ali previously won $1,000 in scholarship money by placing first in the Pennsylvania Eastern Division.

‘‘I was spotlighting American Heroes,’’ Ali said in a Moose news release.

‘‘I wanted the kids to know that you don’t have to do something huge – like sew a flag for your country like Betsy Ross, or stand up like Rosa Parks did – in order to make a difference today,’’ she noted.

A native of India who moved with her family to the United States in 2004, Ali gave two of her Kids Talks dressed in costume and a third dressed as herself to stress that, in her words, she ‘‘could come dressed as myself and make a difference today.

‘‘I’m not originally from this country,’’ she said. ‘‘But I have seen how loving and caring people can be here. It’s such a great country, and I wanted to show how it has impacted me and how we can give back.’’

Sponsored by the Tower City Moose Lodge and Chapter, this was the second consecutive year that Ali participated in the Youth Awareness Congress, and she intends to participate in 2016.

Ali said she plans to be a pediatric dentist, but her Youth Awareness participation has made her want to be a humanitarian as well.