The Santa Monica Lions received a great email this month regarding one of our past Student Speaker contestants.

The Lions Club Student Speaker Contest is a statewide competition open to high school students to “encouraging them to hone their talent through research, speech drafting and oration skills. The goal is for students to gain confidence in themselves, become comfortable addressing audiences of various sizes and build skills that facilitate success throughout their educational years and beyond.”

As part of the contest, winning students receive scholarship money, depending on how far they proceed through the contest. This year the Student Speaker Foundation will provided scholarships totaling $103,500. From this amount, each of the fifteen District winners received a $4,500 scholarship, each of the four Area winners received an additional $6,500 scholarship and the winner of the Multiple District Four Contest received an additional $10,000 scholarship.

One of the contest participants four years ago was Amanda Botfeld from Santa Monica High School, who advanced through several levels of the Student Speaker competition. The email we received was from Amanda’s mother.

“Four years ago my daughter Amanda Botfeld got her first start in public speaking thank to your Lions Club public speaking awards competition. Thank you for helping her with scholarship monies so the she could go to the college of her choice, UC Santa Cruz, and she is graduating next week and has been chosen to deliver the commencement speech for her college class! Without the Lions Club … to support Amanda in becoming a strong public speaker … this never would have happened. Thank you Lions!”

We are thrilled for Amanda, and it is always wonderful to hear how the Santa Monica Lions Club has been able to help someone. The Student Speaker Contest will be open to high school student from several schools in Santa Monica next year, with competitions starting in February 2016. Contact your high school’s debate or public speaking coach.


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