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Kelsea Jeon Named Winner of Pasadena Bar Speech Scholarship Contest

Published on Thursday, May 29, 2014 | 12:06 pm

The winner of the PBA Law Day was Kelsea Jeon (16 years old), a sophomore from Arcadia High School. Kelsea was awarded a $5K scholarship and is the youngest finalist and winner in the history of the speech contest.

The final round took place on Thursday, May 22 during the PBA’s Law Day Luncheon at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium Gold Room. During this final round, the two finalists were given seven minutes to present their speech to approximately 150 lawyers and dignitaries, including honorary guest Joyce Kenard, former Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court and Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard.

“Returning from competing as a finalist last year, Abel really exuded confidence and showed us his improved ability during the first round,” said Don Schweitzer, PBA Family Law section chair and founder & partner of the Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer. “What’s interesting about Kelsea is she is our youngest finalist in the history of the speech contest. Sixteen years old and only a sophomore, her speech was well crafted and powerful as if she were a college graduate. These two young powerhouses delivered outstanding, professional performances, while still being able to interject humor into their speeches—that’s a skill not many adult speakers have conquered, so we were really impressed.”

Jeon competed head-to-head against Abel DeCastro (17), a senior, for the chance to win the $5,000 scholarship, presented by the Pasadena Bar Association. Abel DeCastro, the second place winner, received a $2,000 scholarship. The top 30 finalists now have the opportunity to interview with local participating law firms for internships.

“The PBA Speech Scholarship Contest has grown in popularity over the years to the extent that it’s become an incentive for our local schools to create a speech program for their students,” said Don. “Temple City High School just created a speech program, and one of their speakers broke into the top 30, and they don’t even have the experience competing in the regional high school speech and debate tournaments.”

The Pasadena Bar Association (PBA) assists its members to develop and improve their practice of law by providing information, services, networking, career development programs and other resources. Since its founding in 1917, the PBA has vigorously pursued its stated purpose “to advance the science of jurisprudence, to promote the administration of justice, to encourage a thorough legal education, and to maintain the honor and dignity of the profession of law.” The PBA has initiated numerous programs, services and opportunities for its members, the profession, the judiciary and the community.

Don continued, “What makes this year’s competition all the more rewarding is the internship component we’ve added as a benefit to the competitors. The finalists will have an opportunity to intern with one of the PBA’s member law firms, and continue to build their skills through mentor programs. In fact, the student I spoke of from Temple City High School has already contacted our firm seeking an opportunity. These kids are extremely bright, smart, witty and motivated, and the PBA Speech Scholarship competition was developed as a platform for these students to showcase their talents.”

The Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer is Pasadena’s premier family law firm and one of the most respected in the Los Angeles area. Their specialized attorneys are experienced in all areas of family law and estate planning, supported by today’s most advanced legal resources. Founded by a former police officer turned assistant district attorney, their responsiveness and expert team approach give their clients a favorable edge.

The firm is structured to respond rapidly and proactively. Their staff of 20 includes attorneys and legal support equipped to handle every aspect of each case with the utmost in professionalism, integrity and respect. Principled advocates who will always put their client’s best interests first, the Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer offers peace of mind every step of the way.

For more information about the Pasadena Bar Association, visit

For more information about The Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer, visit


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