Westborough – Venya Khare, a junior at Westborough High School, has recently been announced as the winner of the Westborough Lions Club’s Youth Speech Contest for 2020-21. She, together with seniors Neil Kale, Nikita Sarin, and freshman, Nicole Nguyen, participated in this year’s contest with speeches on the topic of Is Winning Everything? Due to the pandemic, the competition was held via Zoom. This is the sixth year that the Westborough Lions have sponsored the contest.
Each student’s speech was to be no less than five minutes and no more than eight minutes in length. Point penalties were assessed for any deviation from these parameters. At this local level contest, the students were allowed to read directly from their manuscripts. Three independent judges critiqued each speech on Delivery, Effectiveness, and Text. The student with the most first place finishes as determined by the judges using their scoring matrices was deemed the winner.
Venya now moves on to the Region 1 Contest in January, where she will compete against the winners of other Lions Clubs in the eastern Worcester County area, including the Harvard and Sutton Lions Clubs. At this level, she will only be allowed to use three small index cards to deliver her speech, effectively requiring her to memorize it.
The Youth Speech Contest is a part of the Lions International Youth Development Initiative. The Westborough Lions Club is proud to sponsor Venya, as she competes at the next level of competition. Should she win the Region, she would move on to the District 33A Contest in February, where she would compete against the winners of the three other Regions in Worcester County. The winner of the District Contest moves on to the State Finals in April. Prize money is awarded along the way, culminating in a $1500 State prize for the student deemed “Best in State.”
To learn more about the Lions Youth Speech Contest click here.