As Cleburne Lions First Vice President Christine Hockin-Boyd introduced the Lions program on Nov. 17, she said one of the nice things about Lions is that we offer scholarship opportunities for our youth at the local, district and state levels.
High school juniors and seniors were encouraged to research three given topics for Drug Awareness Speech: “The Secrets of Vaping Products”; Diabetes Essay: “The Importance of Diabetes Education in Texas Schools (K-12) — A Student’s Perspective”; and Outstanding Youth Contest essay/speech topic, “Innovation and Change.”
Rules and guidelines are set by Lions District 2-E2 and Lions State MD2. Students could be creative, innovative and practical in their presentations and were allowed to create their own speech title on each subject.
Grace Flippin, a senior at Home Life Academy, was chosen to represent Cleburne Lions in the Drug Awareness Speech and Outstanding Youth Competition. Flippin researched three different vapes, explaining differences, similarities and methods used to advance the use of vaping products, comparing them to other tobacco products in her speech, “Vaping: Is it Worth the Risk?”
Flippin’s Outstanding Youth speech was focused on community service, “A Privilege or A Punishment: Changing the Way We View Community Service,” quoting statesmen and other prominent individuals — John F. Kennedy, George H.W. Bush, Winston Churchill and Mother Teresa.
Flippin referenced the COVID-19 pandemic and how social distancing had been encouraged. While helpful for preventing disease, quarantine was not helpful for promoting unity.
“This divisive mentality, evidenced the fights in supermarkets over toilet paper to increasing incidences of road rage illustrates that society is more self-centered and isolated than ever before,” she said. “The idea of selflessness stands in stark contrast to what is frequently seen, and a spirit of volunteerism that is viewed as a privilege instead of a punishment is an innovation in and of itself.
“The most selfless servant that the world has ever known said, ‘For even the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve.’”
Cleburne High School senior Nicolas “Nico” Enriquez, will represent Cleburne Lions in the Lions District Diabetes Awareness competition with his essay entitled, “My Diabetic Journey.” Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 14, Enriquez knows all too well the importance of diabetes awareness and education in our schools.
Research has shown and continues to show that the most at-risk group of people who develop diabetes is those under the age of 20. Explaining the difference between type one and type two diabetes, Enriquez said Type 1 is most common among children and young teens. Type 1 tends to be hereditary, all though that was not the case with Enriquez’ diagnoses. According to his doctor, he said his diabetes could have stemmed from genetics or a cold that interfered with his immune system that caused his pancreas to stop producing insulin.
Type 2, which is usually diagnosed in adults over the age of 20, is caused by unhealthy diets and lifestyle habits that lead to a build-up of fatty tissues in the pancreas. By adopting a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Type 2 diabetes is reversible.
On the other hand, type one is not reversible and one must learn to live with it and consistently monitor glucose levels throughout the day.
Enriquez credits his health science class in his freshman year of school where they had a lesson on diabetes before his personal diagnosis. Experiencing many of the symptoms such as extreme thirst, being tired and blurred vision, Enriquez diagnosed himself as a type one diabetic and has it documented as such on his medical records.
Enriquez said he had a rough start with diabetes, but now I live a completely normal life.
“By providing awareness of the signs and symptoms of diabetes in K-12 schools, I hope we can help young children and adolescents at the beginning to successfully maintain and live normal lives with diabetes, no matter type one or type two.
“In Type 2, by addressing it early we could potentially eliminate it altogether and reverse the effects of diabetes. Buy catching diabetes early we can prevent it from taking hold and becoming a full diagnosis of Type 2.
“This is why it is so important to be aware of signs and symptoms of diabetes in schools and at home. It is possible we can stop it, but if not, we can provide education on how to successfully manage diabetes, whether it’s type one or type 2.
Enriquez and Flippin will be competing for additional scholarship opportunities in January with other youths from over a 10-county area in Lions District 2-E2.