Students learn self-confidence through public speaking

Carlos Lopez (second from right) was sponsored by the Buena Park Noon Lions Club for the annual Student Speaker Contest, and won the Zone Level on March 1 after securing first place at the Club Level; he continues to the Region Level March 27. L-R are Orange Lions Student Speaker Contest Chair Mike Smith, Former District 4-L4 Governor P.J. Smith, Loara High School student Roger Escobido, Oxford High School student Yobella Cook, Carlos Lopez, and Anaheim Lions Club President and Orange Zone B Chairperson Brian Clausen.

Lions offer annual “Student Speaker Contest”

By Loreen Berlin

Student speaker contestants from left are Joshua Mirador, Kaitlyn Gilchrist, Carlos Lopez, and Lydia Nuno. Lopez won the Club Level contest.

“Integrity and civility play what role in today’s society?” That’s the theme for the 2018 Lions International annual Student Speakers Contest, which was held by the Buena Park Noon Lions Club at the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel.

Four students from Buena Park High School participated; they included Kaitlyn Gilchrist, Carlos Lopez, Joshua Mirador, and Lydia Nuno, with Lopez being selected as the winner at the club level.

Lopez went on to compete at the Zone Level Thursday, March 1, in Anaheim, where he again won as the top speaker. He continues to the Region Level Tuesday, March 27, which will be held at the Garden Grove Lions Club; he will once again be competing against three more students from three different regions.

The winner of the Region Student Speaker Contest then goes on to the District Level, then the Area Level and the Final Level, where the winner at that level receives a $10,000 scholarship.

The stated purpose of the contest is to provide an opportunity for competitive public speaking for students on a subject that is of interest to the contestants and the American people and to create a means of self-expression and independent thinking for high school students.

Contestants are timed and must speak a total of five minutes minimum but no more than 10 minutes, and they are judged by three independent judges, who are not Lions members.

The next four levels for the top winner are Region, District, Area, and the MD-4 Final Contest in June.

Lions District 4-L4 is made up of Lions Clubs throughout Orange County and portions of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, with more than 1,300 members in 35 clubs with the oldest clubs dating back to 1921 and the newest club a year old.

Former Lions Club President and General Chair of Buena Park Noon Lions Club’s annual Silverado Days, Pat Donnelly said, “Lions meet the needs of local communities and the world. The 46,000 clubs in every corner of the globe make Lions the world’s largest service club organization. Individual clubs are different in many ways, but all share a core belief in service to the community.”

He pointed out that Lions help where help is needed in the local communities and around the world, with unmatched integrity and energy.

“Everywhere Lions work, they make friends with children who need schoolbooks, seniors who need transportation, and people they may never meet. We’re led by talented, dedicated volunteer leaders from around the world. The work of Lions worldwide is supported by the Lions Clubs International Foundation, which helps to fund Lions humanitarian projects. Lions are members of community service clubs, dedicated to the idea that men and women who live in a community are in the best position to know who needs help and why. More than 46,500 strong, local clubs are part of the world’s largest such organization, with more than 1.4 million members serving in more than 210 countries and areas. The association is both non-political and non-sectarian. Lions are best known for their sight-related programs, including SightFirst, the world’s largest blindness prevention program.”

In 1990, Lions established SightFirst, a $140 million global initiative to rid the world of preventable and reversible blindness. The unprecedented program joins leading blindness and prevention experts, blindness prevention organizations, governments, and Lions volunteers in an effort to establish long-term solutions in eliminating preventable and reversible blindness.

Lions Club International is the largest service club association in the world, founded in 1917 by businessman Melvin Jones, and Lions are men and women who volunteer their time to humanitarian causes, with a motto of, “We serve.”

Lions Clubs International is dedicated to helping those less fortunate in their communities and around the world. Cutting across national, racial, and cultural boundaries, activities have included sight conservation and work with the visually impaired, youth programs including drug education and prevention and volunteer programs, diabetes detection and research and work for international cooperation and understanding.

Lions District 4-L4, of which Buena Park Noon Lions Club is a part, and oversees approximately 36 Lions clubs in Orange, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties. The district is divided into three regions of Orange, Saddleback, and Foothill, each having three zones. The district provides expertise, training, and assistance to ensure the success of all the clubs in the district and serves as a communication connection between the clubs and Lions International.

Buena Park Noon Lions Club meets on the third Tuesday evening of the month; guests are always welcome to the dinner meeting. The cost is $20 per person for members and guests alike,

New members need to be sponsored by a current member in good standing.

For Buena Park Noon Lions Club information, visit



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