Posted by Wes Bradford on Jan 23, 2018

Our 2 Student Speech contestants are both from Palos Verdes High School. After introductions by Lodel Caplan, each gave a brief speech on the theme of “Making a Difference".

Isabella Hutcheson (on right) was the first speaker. She reviewed the history of bus riders in Birmingham, Alabama, trying to integrate the segregated transportation system there (Rosa Parks making a difference by refusing to give up her seat), and the events leading up to the Supreme Court’s schools desegregation decision. She also spoke of volunteering at a hospital and helping the homeless, showing how one person can make a difference.

Alexis Dugel spoke next, on making a difference by focusing on improving childhood literacy. 1 in 4 children in the US do not learn to read sufficiently for future job applications and workplace functions. 250 million people in the world are functionally illiterate. Alexis wrote and published a paperback children’s book, “The Sky’s the Limit”, encouraging children to reach for their potential. She organized an online writing contest, to which 500 children responded.

After careful deliberation, the judging committee designated Alexis Dugel the winner; she received a check for $200 from our Club, and will represent our Club in our Rotary District Pageant of the Arts on March 10 at LMU. The runner-up, Isabella Hutcheson, received $100. Our Club expressed thanks to both of the contestants and to their family members for participating in the contest.