The Viking Post

Speak For The Win

Christopher Gutierrez, Staff Writer

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Itzelth Gamboa, a senior at Moreno Valley High School, has recently taken part in a Rotary Club Speech Contest that challenges students from different schools to perform a speech that, according to the Rotary Club of Moreno Valley, aims to put “Service above Self”.

The Rotary Club of Moreno Valley holds a contest every year in which it aims to help high school students perform speeches which follow certain guidelines. Those guidelines are: “Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? And, Will it be beneficial to all concerned?” The Rotary Club asked teachers to identify students that they believed could take part in the program. The top student out of those chosen would then perform a speech at a parent lunch where they would be subject to a panel of judges, and Mr. Benjamin Benitez chose Itzelth Gamboa, aforementioned senior, to speak for Moreno Valley High School.

Itzelth Gamboa was judged to be the best speech of the 10 students who performed at Moreno Valley High School. She was awarded the first place prize and was asked to move up in the competition to the district level, where she also received a first place finish. Gamboa then performed a third time in Riverside, which was more a celebration than a competition, considering that the speakers were not judged against each other

Gamboa chronicled her introduction to the contest and her feelings when she realized her successes, stating she didn’t think she was very good, but she was grateful to her friends for pushing her into what would be a very successful campaign.

Gamboa said about the competition “My AVID teacher told me about it, and Benitez asked us about it and all my friends looked at me.” she added “Sophomore year I realized I was okay speaking in front of crowds”, so she decided to go ahead and compete.

Gamboa’s topic may have been what made her stand out to the judges, “My topic, it was a sensitive topic and I had a personal experience with it, it’s how stereotypes affect children with down syndrome.”

Gamboa, who claims she is normally a good public speaker, says she has “never been afraid of speaking in front of people until [she] did the speech.”, she continued “I’ve never had that before [nervousness] because I’ve always been comfortable speaking in front of people.”

But through it all, Gamboa came out on top twice and was able to move onto the third level of the competition in Riverside. When she found out she won, Gamboa was very surprised, she said “It was just pure shock because there were a bunch of other people there as well.” Gamboa says she is happy that she took part in the competition, and said “I think I’m just really grateful that my friends pushed me to do this.”

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Speak For The Win