Buena Park Rotary High School Speech Contest

Buena Park Rotary High School Speech Contest

“The future is in your hands” was the topic for this year’s High School speech contest at Buena Park Rotary. The Rotary International President’s theme for the year 2009-2010 is “The Future of Rotary is in Your Hands.” There were six student competitors from Buena Park High School this year. Each of the students presentated a compeling speech and the attendees were impressed by the quality of their presentations.

Buena Park High Press release as follows: February 23, 2010 or Beth Swift (714) 992-8601

Buena Park High School Students Win Rotary Club Speech Contest
Top Ranked Seniors Take 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Places

Buena Park—On Wednesday, February 17, six students from Buena Park High School competed in Buena Park Rotary Club’s annual Speech Contest held at Knott’s Berry Farm’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. Sophomores Esther Kim and Ruben Solano, Junior Nicole Tressler, and Seniors Lucy Zhang, Leslie May Legaspi, and Neyamatullah Akbar spoke on the topic “The Future is in Your Hands.”

Judges from Toastmasters International rated the students on three components (1) content—including speech development and effectiveness—(2) delivery, which included voice and manner, and (3) language, both the appropriateness and correctness of the words chosen.

Taking first place was Neyamatullah Akbar, whose speech echoed the philosophies of both Voltaire, the Enlightenment philosopher, and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Challenges will try to prevent us from reaching our future, however, we are inspired to . . . embrace our responsibilities for the bright and promising future ahead,” Akbar stated. He is valedictorian of Buena Park High School’s Class of 2010.

Second place winner, senior Leslie May Legaspi, spoke about how future prospects often change as one progress through life. “We must persevere and stick to our goals, but if we end up tripping through the course of the journey, don’t lose confidence. . . You will end up in the place you are supposed to be—that will be the future you never saw coming.” Legaspi is another star student at BPHS and is ranked second in her class of 468 students. She is also a member of Assemblyman Tony Mendoza’s “Young Legislators” program.

Lucy Zhang received third place for her speech relating the compelling story of her journey from being a non-English speaking student from China just four year ago to third-ranked member of the Class of 2010. She spoke about the cultural changes she and her parents faced and the necessity for them to learn English. Zhang is president of BPHS’s California Scholarship Federation club and a member of the girls tennis team.

Chris Salts, President-elect of the Buena Park Rotary Club, stated, “We were so pleased to have these six students challenge themselves to be public speakers, a role that many adults fear. The students did a fabulous job, and we congratulate them all.”

BPHS Assistant Principal and Rotary member Shari Brekenfeld organized the event for the club. “The speeches were awesome. I’m so proud of our Buena Park High School students,” she said.