Wednesday, December 6, 2017

We Energies sponsors annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech contest

On Saturday, Dec. 2, students gathered at the We Energies Public Service Building to give inspiring speeches to family, friends, teachers and a panel of judges. This year marks the third decade that We Energies has sponsored the speech contest. Company employees are happy to assist, with many volunteering year after year. This year these employee volunteers included Freddie Keith, Michelle Waters, Mekisha Linton, Marina Sanchez, Monique Jones and Karen Ryan.

K-2 finalists.
This year’s theme, “Take a stand for truth and justice,” comes from a sermon Dr. King preached in Montgomery, Alabama, on Nov. 6, 1956, just seven days before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Alabama’s bus segregation laws. Dr. King stated,

 “… dare to take a stand for justice. Honesty impels me to admit that such a stand will require willingness to suffer and sacrifice. So don’t despair if you are condemned and persecuted for righteousness’ sake. Whenever you take a stand for truth and justice, you are liable to scorn. Often you will be called an impractical idealist or a dangerous radical. Sometimes it might mean going to jail.”

Students from Milwaukee public, private, charter and home schools embraced this theme in the writing and delivery of their four-minute speeches.

Grade 11-12 finalists.
Finalists of Saturday’s speech contest are listed below. All first-place winners will give their speech at the citywide celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy to be held Jan. 14, 2018, at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Winners of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. art and writing contests also will be honored at the Jan. 14 event.

Grade K-2
1st place – Zadayne Miller, Milwaukee Parkside School of the Arts
2nd place – Josiah Franklin, Elm Creative Arts Elementary School
3rd place – Inezmari Chico, Curtin Leadership Academy

Grade 3-4
1st place – Amir Johnikin, Elm Creative Arts Elementary School
2nd place – Benji Johnston, Eastbrook Academy
3rd place – Salma Lewis, Golda Meir Lower Campus

Grade 5-6
1st place – Chloe Reader, Alcott School
2nd place – Katelen Pickens, Emerson School
3rd place – Kaylie Deluna, Victory Elementary School

Grade 7-8
1st place – Amillia Bell, Golda Meir Upper Campus
2nd place – Terynn Erby-Walker, Golda Meir Lower Campus
3rd place – Demi Figueroa, Curtin Leadership Academy

Grade 9-10
1st place – Ameen Atta, Salam High School
2nd place – Akili Pleas-Carnie, Rufus King International Baccalaureate High School
3rd place – Marvell Reed, Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education

Grade 11-12
1st place – Ariana Cawthorn, Eastbrook Academy
2nd place – Daniel Montalvo, Reagan International Baccalaureate High School 
3rd place – Biluge Ntabala, Milwaukee High School of the Arts

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