Crescenta-Cañada Lions Club Awards Local Students

La Cañada High School students Alden Geller, Howard Kim and Jihee Yoon.
La Cañada High School students Alden Geller, Howard Kim and Jihee Yoon.


The Crescenta-Cañada Lions Club hosted a speech contest on Feb. 15 when three students from local high schools competed for a chance to win scholarship money.

Although the event was open to students from all high schools in the area, all three submissions received were from La Cañada High.

The speakers included ninth grade student Jihee Yoon who first heard of the contest after a school counselor sent an email to her about the event. Yoon participates in her school debate team and used this opportunity to try a different style of public speaking.

Eleventh grade participant Howard Kim is no stranger to the podium. His extracurricular school activities have brought him to speak before groups in the past.

The students were asked to speak for five to 10 minutes on the challenging question of what the America of yesterday could teach the America of tomorrow.

Four judges from the community were recruited to evaluate the students’ speeches based on content and originality, how sincere they were in delivering their message and the overall effectiveness and persuasiveness in what they were trying to communicate.

“You made me smile, you made me think,” said guest judge Dr. Mark Anthony of Anthony Chiropractic, adding that each of the contestants had a future career in public speaking.

All three students were winners in the first level, the Club level, of the competition and walked away with prize money.

In addition to winning at the Club level, 11th grade speaker Alden Geller was named Zone level winner, which is the second level, and will go on to compete in the regional level of the competition.

For this contest, Geller prepared for about a week and received feedback on his speech from school teachers.

In all, there are six levels in the competition and the winner will have the opportunity to receive over $20,000 in scholarships.