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AAUW announces local Speech Trek winners

Sanjana Kumar, first place winner
Sanjana Kumar, first place winner
(Prem Kumar)

The American Association of University Women Del Mar-Leucadia Branch recently announced the winners of its recent Speech Trek contest for high school students. Hosted on Zoom by the branch Speech Trek Coordinator Sharon Corbett-Parry, six contestants from five high schools presented their original speeches on the topic: “Has the US lived up to its pledge of liberty and justice for all? Would requiring the study of diversity, equity and inclusion in a high school setting help ensure liberty and justice for all?”

Local Toastmasters served as judges with cash prizes awarded to the top three contestants. The judges reported that they were very impressed with all of the contestants and were pleased that AAUW offers this annual opportunity to high school students.

According to Corbett-Parry, “The speeches were all very inspiring, thoroughly researched and presented well. I am very proud of the contestants who took on this challenge.” Videos of the speeches can be viewed on the AAUW Del Mar-Leucadia channel on YouTube.

Sanjana Kumar, a sophomore at Francis Parker School, won the $500 first place prize. As winner of the local contest, Kumar will compete at the state level for more cash prizes. Last year she placed second in this local Speech Trek contest. Kumar is passionate about the intersection of STEM and public service, and her focus areas are bioengineering, civil rights, and climate activism. When she is not pursuing these interests, you can find her in the dance studio, in the machine shop of her school’s robotics team, or exploring San Diego with her older sister.

Kelly Hu, second place winner
Kelly Hu, second place winner
(Chi-Feng)

Kelly Hu, a junior at Torrey Pines High School, won the $300 second place prize. She is interested in biology and computer science and is on the Torrey Pines Dance team. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, or going to the beach with her friends. She is grateful for every opportunity she gets to share her voice and opinions with others, and encourages everyone to do the same.

Grace Wheeler, third place winner
Grace Wheeler, third place winner
(Jenny Hong)

Grace Wheeler, a junior at San Dieguito Academy, won the $200 third place prize. She is the debate president of her school’s Speech and Debate team. In her free time she likes to read and go backpacking.

AAUW is a national organization that advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Membership is open to all college graduates with an associate or higher degree. AAUW values and seeks a diverse membership.

The Del Mar-Leucadia Branch serves coastal San Diego communities and reflects the varied interests of its members with monthly meetings (open to the public) and special interest groups such as Great Decisions, dining, book, movie, and bridge groups. Many of these groups are ongoing with virtual meetings.

The local AAUW branch raises money for scholarships for local college students and for local middle school girls who are chosen to attend AAUW’s Tech Trek, a STEM camp for girls. The branch also supports Speech Trek for local high school students and the AAUW Greatest Needs Fund.

For more information, visit delmarleucadia-ca.aauw.net or contact Karen Dorney, membership@aauwdml.org


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