Published : Wednesday, February 12, 2020 | 12:20 PM
On Saturday, February 8th , thirteen very bright, insightful, eloquent high school students participated in the first phase of AAUW California’s Eleanor Stem Allen Memorial Speech Trek Contest. US Congresswoman Judy Chu made welcoming remarks and presented a Certificate of Congressional Recognition of AAUW”s Alhambra-San Gabriel Branch. The certificate states, “In recognition of your high standards of excellence and outstanding achievements. Your dedication to help women and girls break down education and economic barriers is truly commendable. Your commitment to the youth of the greater San Gabriel Valley is deeply appreciated. Congratulations and best wishes in your future endeavors!”
Speech Trek is an annual speaking contest open to all California high school students, whether from public, private, home or continuation high schools.
Students prepare an original 5- to 6-minute speech, which is judged for content, organization, and delivery. The first place winner of the contest conducted by the Alhambra/San Gabriel Branch of AAUW on February 8 th receives $100 and advances to the state-wide competition. The second place winner at received $50, and the third place winner received $25.
Each contestant speech addressed the question: “Are Men and Women Truly Equal Today, or Are The Suffragists of 1920 Still Suffering in 2020?”
Here are the contestants in this year’s contest:
Judge’s Award Student Grade School
1st – Katherine Xie 12th Gabrielino High School
2nd – Sarah Huapaya Alhambra High School
3rd – Aman Kumar 10th Don Bosco Technical Institute
4th - Nicole Lu South Pasadena High School
5th - Felicia Tang 12th Gabrielino High School
Diamy Wang 10th Alhambra High School
Jasmine Luong 9th San Gabriel High School
Jayden Chow 9th San Gabriel High School
Jessica Lieu Alhambra High School
Khin Han 12th Gabrielino High School
Lin Knudsen 12th Gabrielino High School
Mikaela Perez-Beltran 10th Alhambra High School
Shruti Chand South Pasadena High School
Esther Xu, a student attending Ramona Convent Secondary School, entered the competition but was unable to speak due to illness.
A video recording of the first place speech will be posted on Facebook for review by a panel of State Speech Trek judges along with winners from throughout the state. The State Speech Trek judges will identify five finalists, two of whom will be named as Honorable Mention. The judges
will invite the top three finalists to compete for cash prizes at the state convention on Saturday, April 18, 2020, at the Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel. Travel expenses, lodging, and meals for each finalist and her/his chaperone will be reimbursed by AAUW.
The first place winner at the state contest will receive $1500. The second place winner at the state contest will receive $1000, and the third place winner will receive $500. The finalists who received honorable mention also receive cash prizes: $250 for 4 th place and $150 for 5 th place.
Students from our local high schools have a winning record. In the 13 years since the contest began, six finalists have come from one of our local schools:
2019 Dominique Ruedaflores, 1 st place
2017 Sabrina Sy, 3rd place
2016 Sharon Lu, 1st place
2015 Caitlyn Cook, 5th place
2013 Pavin Trinh, 1st place
2009 Alexandra Lossada, 2nd place
AAUW is the American Association of University Women. AAUW has been empowering women as individuals and as a community since 1881. For more than 130 years, we have worked together as a national grassroots organization to improve the lives of millions of women and their families. The Alhambra–San Gabriel Branch of AAUW was organized in 1944 to advance education, equity and positive societal change for women and girls in the western San Gabriel Valley.