Pasadena High School Student Wins $5,000 1st Prize for Pasadena Bar Association Speech Scholarship Contest

Published : Monday, May 9, 2016 | 8:48 PM

Mr. & Mrs. Moore (l), Maranatha’s Speech & Debate Coach, Patrick Mesisca, Trinity Moore and PPD Chief Sanchez.

A student from Maranatha High School in Pasadena was declared first prize winner in the 6th Annual Pasadena Bar Association Speech Scholarship Tournament, conducted at the Pasadena Hilton on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

Sophomore Trinity Moore was one of 55 Maranatha students sent to compete in the tournament that started in April.

A total of 150 students from 15 local high schools competed before a panel of 150 lawyers and judges, and spoke on topics selected by the PBA ahead of time.

“This year, we got over a hundred applicants again,” Michelle Paniagua, PBA Executive Director, said. “The preliminary competition was held Saturday, April 23rd at La Salle High School in Pasadena. And out of that, they gave their speech for a couple of rounds for every child, gave their speech for at least two rounds and then we have the third round with about 30 students. We narrowed it down to 30 and then we have the top 5. And on our Annual Law Day Luncheon, which is held every May for the Pasadena Bar Association for the past six years, we have the top two students come and give their speech on Law Day.”

The students were asked to deliver seven-minute memorized speeches on three topics: “Beyond Ferguson: How do we Regulate Police Conduct to Maximize Public Safety,” “The Cost of A College Education: Is it Worth it?” and “How do we Prevent the Next Boston Bombing? How Far is too Far?”

The PBA Speech Scholarship Tournament started six years ago as a community outreach program to reach out to high schools in the Pasadena area. Paniagua said the prizes have been consistent at $5,000 for the first place, $2,000 for second and $1,000 for third.

“That remains today,” she says. “We have over a hundred applicants that apply. And they’re from all the local high schools in and around Pasadena and the surrounding areas.”

Seven of the Maranatha students placed in the top 30 quarterfinals, and Moore and Kendall Hollimon reached the top five semifinals.

Moore competed with Jason Ma from Gabrielino High School in the finals last Tuesday and triumphed to first place and the $5,000 cash prize.

Paniagua said Gabrielino High School won the first place team award, while Maranatha got second place.

Maranatha High School, 169 South Saint John Avenue, Pasadena, (626) 817-4000 or visit


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