Winner of Rotary’s Annual Speech Contest | community


The annual Rotary Area 5 speech contest was held in Newman on Thursday, with contestants from Orestimba, Gustine, and Los Banos high schools participating.

The topic of the speech was chosen by Rotary International – “Serving Others Changing Lives”.

The first place winner was Emma von Loben Sells, a senior at Los Banos High School. Last year she took second place in the regional competition.

“She is an excellent speaker who travels to Pennsylvania every summer to attend Junior Holstein Association communications tournaments,” said event organizer Robert McConnell.

From Newman, Jessie Rios, a student at Orestimba High School, was the second-place speaker. He and two other Orestimba students worked one lunch break per week for two months with McConnell, their language coach and a Rotarian.

Jessie is a top student and a member of the Rotary-sponsored Orestimba Interact Club. He is active in various campus projects and does community service for Interact and his community. He is an athlete with track and field, volleyball and basketball experience in different school years. He looks forward to speaking next year. His career aspirations are a doctor, possibly an orthopaedist.

From Gustine, the third place winner was Nayeli Padilla Madrigal, a junior at Gustine High School. She is also a member of the Interact Club and is serving as Co-President this year. She is also the president of the school Link Crew – seniors helping freshmen and sophomores. She is an AVID student and a member of the Spanish Club. She only spoke Spanish before entering kindergarten, now she is fluent in English and Spanish. Her goal is to become a school psychologist capable of fluently helping all students and families.


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