Public speaking can be nerve-wracking, but two seniors took on the challenge and one of them won a regional contest at a local high school.
Senior Karen Charleston won the Rotary Four-way Test Speech Contest. Charleston and fellow senior Hannah Shirey competed at the mid-level competition Dec. 4 at Lebanon High School.
To enter the contest, Charleston and Shirey had to write a five-to-eight-minute speech on a topic of current concern.
Both Charleston and Shirey spent over a month writing and preparing their speeches.
Charleston wrote hers questioning the validity of the All Lives Matter movement.
“I personally chose my topic because I felt like people in general have some sort of negative feelings towards the Black Lives Matter movement because of some things they see in the media,” said Charleston. “I wanted to show how the Black Lives Matter movement isn’t just about police brutality.
“It’s about stopping oppression of black people and minorities in general.”
Shirey wrote her speech on the problem of JUUL use among teens “It was challenging to answer the four questions and not be repetitive, but it was not too hard to write about my topic because I care about it, so it just flew right out,” said Shirey.
Once they had chosen their topics and written their speeches, they had to have them completely memorized when they performed them at the competition.
“Personally, I like public speaking but the hard part was havingw it memorized,” said Shirey. “With being so busy, it was so hard for me to find time to memorize the whole thing.”
When they finally performed their speeches, Charleston placed first in the mid-level competition.
“I didn’t think that I was going to get first place because I thought the other contestants were pretty qualified and that my speech was probably tied with some of the other speeches,” said Charleston.
Charleston will be moving on to the finals, where she will compete against other mid-level winners and get the opportunity to receive awards ranging from $250 to $1500. The finals will be held April 13, 2019 at the Hershey Hotel.
“I am looking forward to spreading my message and spreading awareness about things going on in our world,” said Charleston.