Colton orators compete for top honors at Lions Club speech contest

Karen Millan wins big prize as five Yellowjackets deliver speeches about the impact of social media


J. Dollins

Ms. Lucy Leyva and her students enjoyed their moment in the spotlight at the 2023 Lions Club Speech Competition, held at the Colton Chamber of Commerce. (From left: Lucy Leyva, Karen Millan, Estefani Perez, Faith Diaz, Andrew Diaz, Aiden Smith)

Colton, CA—Five of Colton High’s best minds were on display yesterday evening at the Chamber of Commerce for the Lions Club’s first annual speech competition.

Junior Karen Millan took the top honors, winning $100, and an opportunity to compete against others at the Zone competition on March 15 at the local Knights of Columbus Hall.

Karen Millan holds up her winning check for her speech about the impact of social media. (J. Dollins)

The five speakers from English teacher Lucy Leyva’s AP Composition course presented speeches centered on the topic: “Social Media: Connects Us or Isolates Us.” In addition to Millan, the other participating juniors were Andrew Diaz, Faith Diaz, Estefani Perez, and Aiden Smith.

Each of the contestants took home $25 for their efforts.

“This was just a really good experience,” said Millan as she tried to process her victory. 

The participants learned about the event from Leyva, who has had experience with events like these as the former advisor for both Mock Trial and CHS’ Academic Competition team. “I want them to fully articulate who they are and how they feel,” she said.

The Lions Club is a community service organization dating back to 1931, whose primary goal with this event is to empower students to speak publicly and build leadership skills.

The Colton chapter of the Lions Club reopened in 2019, and this is their first speech competition event. Chairperson Soledad Morden was satisfied with the results. “I think both folks and children here had an exposure that really opened their eyes.”