2017-02-16 / Inside Education

AAUW Speech Trek happening Wednesday, Feb. 22

Last year’s Speech Trek contestants included, from left, Izamary Marquez, Claire Gorham, Samantha Telles-Trujillo, Hannah Swiecki and Judith Phillips. Gorham went on to win third place in the state competition.Last year’s Speech Trek contestants included, from left, Izamary Marquez, Claire Gorham, Samantha Telles-Trujillo, Hannah Swiecki and Judith Phillips. Gorham went on to win third place in the state competition.This year’s American Association of University Women (AAUW) Speech Trek contest is taking place Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m. at the Mariposa County High School Fiester Auditorium. 

This year’s topic is, “Is it time to pass the Equal Rights Amendment?”

The American Association of University Women is a national organization. The California region’s annual Speech Trek competition is open to all high school students, both male and female. It starts on the branch level with a speech tournament for local students and culminates with three top statewide finalists performing their five-to six- minute speeches at the AAUW California convention in April. This is Mariposa AAUW’s sixth year competing. The branch has had two third place winners at the state level, including last year.

Mariposa AAUW currently has five students working with AAUW coaches on perfecting content and delivery.

Speech Trek is led this year by coordinator Jill Harry. She is being assisted by AAUW member coaches Kris Casto, Cindy Harp, Pam Gingold, Kendra Atkins and Audrey Davis. 

Teacher Bryan Starchman is the high school liaison, encouraging students, giving them tips on what makes a great speech and helping AAUW with logistics at the high school. 

Teacher Kim Monson has also stepped in to help. She has knowledge and experience regarding speech contests from her years of leading high school decathlons. She is sharing her knowledge with the competing students, giving them pointers during their rehearsals on stage. 

Contest judges are: District 1 Supervisor Rosemarie Smallcombe; Mariposa Superior Court Judge Michael Fagalde; and Director of Human Services Chevon Kothari.

Speech Trek is a way to empower Mariposa high school students with the tools of researching and writing a speech, memorization and public speaking. 

Speech Trek is just one of several school and community programs offered by Mariposa AAUW, a branch of the 133-year-old national organization dedicated to advancing equity and lifelong learning for women and girls. 

For more information, visit www.aauwmariposa.com.

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