Alexandra Chan Roars At Lions Club Speakers Contest

Student speakers from the Pasadena area introduce themselves before the start of the 82nd Annual Student Speaker Contest.Student speakers draw numbers for speaking order.Tosten Pearson speaks on the topic: Freedom of the Press. What does it mean?Sylvia Wang speaks on the topic: Freedom of the Press. What does it mean?Alexandra Chan speaks on the topic: Freedom of the Press. What does it mean?Alexandra Chan speaks on the topic: Freedom of the Press. What does it mean?Charles Dowell speaks on the topic: Freedom of the Press. What does it mean?Members of the Pasadena Lions Club listen to the student speakers.Andy Wilson from the Pasadena City Council is one of the judges for the 82nd Annual Student Speaker Contest.Alexandra Chan, a senior from South Pasadena High School is the winner of the 82nd Annual Student Speaker Contest.

By ANDY VITALICIO with Kerstin Brucki | Photography by JAMES CARBONE

6:29 pm | February 13, 2019


Seventeen-year-old Alexandra Chan won the introduction level of the 82nd Annual Student Speakers Contest Feb. 12.

The contest was hosted by the Pasadena Host Lions Club at The Salvation Army Tabernacle’ Fellowship Hall.

The annual contest is a tradition of Multiple District Four (MD-4) California Lions Clubs International. This year’s contest topic was, “Freedom of the Press: What does it Mean?”

Chan competed with three other Pasadena-area high-schoolers, and spoke about her rich history of living in two worlds – in China, with restrictions on the internet coined the “great firewall,” and in America, where media can be harmfully untrue, but at least gives the citizen a chance to hear from multiple sources.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to speak on an issue so topical and vital to our current political realm,” Chan said. “I’m also grateful for Lions Club International’s consistent dedication to providing educational opportunities and shaping the leaders of tomorrow.”

The other speakers in the club level contest were: Sylvia Wang, 15, who spoke of her parent’s experience working for a newspaper publication in China and the repercussions of speaking against their government; Tosten Pearson, 15, who stated that an alternative fact is 70 percent more likely to be shared on social media versus a verified fact; and Charles Dowell, 18, who focused on how the people need to understand their “media diet” of the new sources and the implications of reading biased reports.

Pasadena Host Lions Club said the contest provides an opportunity for competitive public speaking among students on a subject of vital interest to the American people. The Lions Clubs encourage self-expression and independent thinking, and through the student speakers contest present to the public the intricacies of keeping the United States as a free nation.

Chan will compete with other tournament winners in the region on March 9, 9 a.m., at the Pasadena Salvation Army Tabernacle, at 960 East Walnut Street. The six-level contest will continue into the spring.