Three local students walked to the front of the large room and individually spoke in front of a crowd of people without notes about the values and meanings of “The Four-Way Test.”
For many people, just having to stand in front of a crowd would be enough.
These three pulled it off brilliantly, just like a leader has to know how to do.
It happened Tuesday afternoon as the Rotary Club of Cleveland hosted the Interact Speech competition.
Interact is the Rotarian-sponsored club for young people ages 12 to 18 who want to help tackle issues in their community.
The three students who gave their talks were Julia Goncalves of Cleveland High, Lily Freeman of Bradley Central and Wendy Armenta, also of Bradley Central.
“Rotary has a lot of opportunities to invest in our youth,” said Rotary President-elect Tim Spires. “We do it through exchange students, we do it through the Youth Leadership Academy and we also have the Interact Conference.”
Rotarian Victor Boltniew was the moderator for the competition and spoke of the annual retreat the local club helps young people to attend.
“We send about eight from Bradley, Walker Valley and Cleveland High,” Boltniew said.
He said there were 170 students who attend from all over the East Tennessee area.
“They put them into groups of 16 or 17 and have leadership challenges where they are taught to communicate,” he said. “They learn how to work together as a team.”
The club presented monetary awards to all three of the speech contestants.
Gonclaves will represent Cleveland at the district competition.