Hendry County 4-H/Tropicana Speech competition held

LaBELLE — The 32nd annual 4-H/Tropicana Speech Contest was conducted at Central Elementary School on Jan. 19. There were 21 fourth- and fifth-grade speakers and nine sixth-grade speakers.

In the fourth and fifth grade divisions: First place was awarded to Elyonna Padillo from Westside Elementary School with her speech titled “Kids Disrespecting Adults.” Second place went to Eastside Elementary School’s Naomi Salinas with her speech titled “What It’s Like Being a Mexican Child.” Kaleb McLymont of Upthegrove Elementary School achieved third place with his speech titled “Sports Does Not Build Character.” Aryana Sigala of Upthegrove Elementary School took honorable mention with her speech titled “Youth Depression.”

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/UFL
Middle school winners front row left to right: Grazelyn Hyde, Jaylin Velasquez, Daylen Moss and Samantha Aragus. Back row: Kaydence Swanson, Hatton Kurtz, Sadler Soles, Madison Alford, MacKenzie Wills and Ms. Brookins.

The Judges Choice Awards in the fourth and fifth grade division were awarded to the following speakers: Most Humorous Award went to Garique Allen (CES), Alicia Taylor (COES) received the Most Educational Award, Harleigh Webber (COES) was honored with the Most Original Award, Best Presentation of a Serious Issue was awarded to Raquel Berazza (WES) and Most Inspirational went to Izabella Vallejo (CCS).

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/UFL
Elementary school winners front row left to right: Izabelle Vallejo, Raquel Berazza, Harleigh Webber, Alicia Taylor and Garique Allen. Back row: Mr. Busin, Elyonna Padillo, Naomi Salinas, Kaleb McLymont and Aryana Sigala.

In the sixth-grade division: Clewiston Middle School’s Madison Alford captured first place with her speech titled “My Koda Bear.” Second place was awarded to Sadler Soles of Clewiston Christian School with his speech titled “My True Inspiration.” Placing third was Hatton Kurtz of Clewiston Christian School with his speech titled “Dadventures.” Kaydence Swanson of LaBelle Middle School took honorable mention with her speech titled “Just an Illusion.”

The Judges Choice Awards in the sixth-grade division were awarded to the following speakers: Most Humorous Award went to Jaylin Velasquez (CMS), Gracelyn Hyde (LMS) captured the Most Educational Award, MacKenzie Wills (LMS) was honored with the Most Original Award, Daylen Moss (CCS) with the Best Presentation of a Serious Issue and the Most Inspirational Award went to Samantha Aragus (CMS).

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/UFL
Pictured is the 30 speakers who did a fantastic job in presenting their speeches.

The winners of the speech contest received a wooden plaque containing the 4-H/Tropicana Speech emblem sponsored by Tropicana Products, Inc. In addition to the plaques, first through third place winners were awarded cash awards in the amounts of $30, $20, and $10, respectively, sponsored by Hendry County 4-H. Furthermore, the first place winners received a scholarship to attend 4-H Camp Cloverleaf in Lake Placid, June 6-10, sponsored by Tropicana Products, Inc.

The winners of the Judges Choice Awards received trophies sponsored by Hendry County 4-H. To all of the 30 speakers, you did a fantastic job in presenting your speeches. To the school coordinators and teachers involved with the 4-H/Tropicana Speech Contest, you did an outstanding job in preparing your students for the school contest as well as for the county contest. Furthermore, thank you parents for getting your child to the competition and all the help you gave them. Many thanks to Mrs. Debra Cabrera, Mr. Frank Dowdle and Mr. Martin Espinoza for taking time from their busy schedules to serve as official judges. Finally, thank you to our sponsor, Tropicana Products, Inc., for making this event possible as well as to Mrs. Melissa Carter and the Hendry County School Board for allowing the contest to be held at Central Elementary School.

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