Preliminary rounds for the Pasadena Bar Associationâ€™s 3rd Annual Speech Scholarship Contest begins Saturday at Maranatha High School, it was announced today.
The Annual Speech Scholarship Contest was co-founded by Donald P. Schweitzer, current PBA president, and Steven Yee, 2011 PBA president. The contest t invites high school students throughout Los Angeles County to participate in a speech and debate tournament for a chance to win a $5,000 scholarship for the first-place winner.
The contestants will be expected to give a speech on their choice of one of three topics that the PBA previously provided. At the completion of the preliminary rounds, two students will move on to compete during the PBAâ€™s Law Day luncheon on May 9 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
During the final round, the two finalists will be given seven minutes to present their speech to approximately 150 lawyers and dignitaries, including honorary guest, Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey. Judging will occur during lunch, with the finalist announcement shortly after.
Scholarships of $5,000, $2,000 and $1,000 will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners, respectively. Fourth and fifth place winners will each receive a $150 gift certificate; and sixth through 15th place finalists will receive medals.
This year, the Pasadena Bar Association announced that it will also award $1,000 to the first place and $500 to the second place school teams.
Last yearâ€™s first and second place winners were Samuel Whitefield from La Canada High School, and Jessica Demasi from Maranatha High School, respectively.
â€œThe Pasadena Bar Associationâ€™s Speech Scholarship Contest is invaluable because it allows us to give back to our youth,â€ Yee said.
â€œIn addition to helping students fund their college education, we provide them with a unique opportunity to develop their public speaking skills before lawyers, retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judges, and other professionals,â€ he said. â€œThis contest has prompted several high schools to form their own speech and debate teams.â€