Rotary Club Of Ventura South holds First Annual Speech Contest for Ventura high schools

The senior winners are Jonathon Saldana, Alaina Hooks and Aspen Levitt.

The Rotary Club of Ventura South conducted its first annual speech contest for Ventura high school students with the finals held on Thursday, May 17, at the Tower Club in Oxnard. At the event, the Club awarded more than $4,000 in scholarships for first place, second place, and honorable mention to students from Buena, Foothill, and Ventura High Schools. First Bank in Ventura contributed $2,000 to the project.

Bob Davis, 2017-18 President of Rotary Ventura South, commented, “We’re excited to sponsor this first annual event as a means of supporting education in our community and encouraging students to develop their public speaking skills. We look forward to welcoming even more contestants in the coming years.”

Invitations to participate went out to all Ventura High Schools in March, and the initial round of competition was conducted on campus for students at the responding schools. The entrants were asked to prepare a four-minute speech on the American civil rights movement of the 1950s-60s.

The presentations were judged by panels of Rotary Ventura South club members using delivery, content, and their own discretion as criteria. They were John Weiss, Rosanna Colin, Bob Braitman, Mary Davis and Dante Honorico.

The winners are:

  • Kaitlyn Saldana – Freshman, Buena High School. First Place (Freshmen) – $1,500.
  • Angela Tang – Freshman, Buena High School. Second Place (Freshmen) – $750.
  • Joshua Cenzano – Sophomore, Buena High School. First Place (Sophomores) – $1,500.
  • Alaina Hooks – Senior, Foothill Technology High School. First Place (Seniors) – $1,500.
  • Aspen Levitt – Senior, Ventura High School. Second Place (Seniors) – $750.
  • Jonathon Saldana – Senior, Buena High School. Third Place (Seniors) – $300.

The Rotary Club of Ventura South is one of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs with 1.2 million members around the world. The clubs work together to promote peace; fight disease; provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; save mothers and children; support education; and grow local economies. Rotary Ventura South meets at noon every Monday at the Tower Club in Oxnard. Visitors are always welcome. For more information, visit

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