Fort Hood’s own Iyana Moses was named the Texas State Military Youth of the Year following an intensive competition Monday.
“I was overwhelmed,” Moses said about competition, “but I walked in with the Lord and I walked out with the Lord.”
The annual recognition program, which is organized by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, acknowledges the volunteerism, leadership and communication skills among military youth. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s competition was held virtually. The competition included four essays, a speech and an interview.
Miriam Washington, director of Bronco Youth Center, said during the interview process, the judges want to know how the Boys and Girls Club organization has impacted them. Moses has attended the Bronco Youth Center for three years, where she has become a leader and mentor to the other students in the program.
Moses, a sophomore at Shoemaker High School, is active in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and AVID, a youth organization serving more than two million students worldwide. She volunteers to help the elderly in her community and volunteers as the secretary of youth ministry at her church. According to Washington, Moses’ service to the club, her school and the community is what sets her apart.
Retired Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Wilson, Moses’ uncle and guardian, said his niece has gone through a lot in her young life, so he knows that anything positive that goes her way is countering all the negative in her past. He said he believes God put her in his life for a reason and it is his mission to help her succeed.
“I advised her to inspire them (the judges) in some way,” Wilson said. “I told her to do this for the Lord first, then your momma, your sister and yourself.”
Washington said Moses’ story is inspirational, though details of her inspiring essays and speech cannot be publicized until after the competitions are over. The essay titles the nominees had to complete included, “What are the obstacles that you have overcome?” “What is your military experience?” “What is your club experience?” and “What matters to me?”
Moses will advance to the Southwest Military Youth of the Year competition, to be held in the coming months. If she wins the regional competition, she will advance to the National Military Youth of the Year competition in late summer. For now, as the Fort Hood Youth of the Year and Texas Youth of the Year, she will be able to inspire youth across the state.
“I want to reach other kids and let them know that if I can do it, you can do it,” Moses added. “You can overcome your experiences and challenges you go through in life.”