Star takes first place


Brandon Woods

Staff Reporter 

Nervous gestures ran down her spine as she stepped to the podium. She took a look out to the crowd as all of their eyes locked onto her. Remembering everything she practiced what she preached, she took a deep breath, and began reading her speech.

It wasn’t just a speech; it was a motivated speech that caused Senior Kourtney Harvey to winning first place of a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech contest.

Harvey was introduced to this speech contest due to her Public Speaking teacher, Dr. Metropoulos. Metropoulos as well as many other teachers received an email about the contest. None of the teachers really thought much of the email, except Metropoulos. She introduced the topic to her class, and the students seemed anxious but willing to enter into the contest.

“I really wasn’t too surprised, after all it is a college speech and debate class,” said Harvey.

It took Harvey exactly one week to complete this speech, doing the work all by herself. She practiced over and over again until she had the speech down pat. It took her exactly one week to put this paper together, with no help.

Harvey then qualified as a finalist, along with her fellow classmate Cory Clasby went to John Knox Presbyterian Church to compete in the contest.

All of the contestants that qualified as finalists were grouped into one specific category. The categories were high school, middle school, elementary, and adult. There were three contestants per category. Harvey competed against Clasby and the McCluer student. One by one, each competitor went up to deliver his or her speech.

It was then Harvey’s turn to deliver her speech. The name of her speech was Dr. King Unfinished Business: Economic Empowerment. She spoke about how economic empowerment, and how it could help educate and shape a better world for the generations after us. She also targeted stereotypes and inequality in the workplace between men and women.

“I kept telling myself to take deep breaths, to relax to do my best, and if at any point that I forget what to do, I would refer back to the pointers I was given.”

Through all the hard work that she put into her speech, Harvey became the winner of the contest. The spectators who filled the room, applauded for her.

Her friends and family were thrilled with her conquering first place.

“I was very happy for my sister when I heard her name being called as the winner,” said Freshman Kiana Harvey.

After Harvey had won first place at John Knox Presbyterian Church, she then ventured off and spoke again at a HAFA meeting for our school district, and at the MLK celebration at Florissant Valley College.

Oprah Winfrey once said, “The big secret is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can do get there if you’re willing to do the work.”

In this case, Harvey put all of hard work into her speech, and came out as the winner of the contest.