Engineering student Krysten Moore advocates for bullying victims
Junior electrical engineering student Krysten Moore, of Mahwah, N.J., is hoping to bring the anti-bullying message she has already delivered at dozens of appearances in New Jersey and New York to young people in western Massachusetts. Moore is using her status as the current Miss Bergen County as a platform to help spread her message. She is also a two-time Miss Teen New Jersey, and a candidate to become Miss New Jersey who could compete for the Miss America title.
Moore was the victim of bullying in middle school. “I was very overweight. My nickname was ‘Krysten wants Moore food,’ she says. “Looking back, I laugh at it because it was clever. But at the time it really hurt. Now I want to make sure that nobody feels the way I felt.”
Moore is a National Youth Ambassador for Love Our Children USA, an anti-bullying organization, and is also working on a documentary for MTV. Bullied is “about me and a few other students, what we went through when we were bullied and how we overcame it. Hopefully, it will turn out as an inspiration for bullying victims everywhere,” Moore says.
In eighth grade, Moore outgrew her weight condition, but not the abuse, which turned to cyber-bullying aimed at her newfound passion for pageants.
Moore fought back. She became the National Youth Ambassador for Love Our Children USA, an organization that fights childhood violence and neglect, and STOMP Out Bullying. She founded Students Helping Instill New Esteem (SHINE), aimed at giving children a sense of respect and consideration for each other, while understanding and accepting each other’s differences. SHINE was named one of the top 100 new nonprofits of 2007 by the Case Foundation.
She has appeared on national television and was chosen to ring the closing bell at NASDAQ. She was also recruited to do a self-esteem workshop at one of President Obama’s 100 Youth Roundtables, and in 2008 received President Obama’s Lifetime Call to Service Award for her 9,000-plus hours of community service.
“My hope is that no one ever underestimates the influence of their actions or the power of their words,” she says. “With one small gesture, we can change a person’s life…whether it’s changed for the better or the worse depends on the gesture we choose.”