Burke Stewart, a Yosemite High School junior, is this year’s winner of the Lions International Zone Speaker’s contest.
Stewart, a member of the YHS tennis team, represented the Bass Lake Lions Club and by winning the March 4 Zone contest, held at the Oakhurst Library, he advances to the April 1 Regional Contest in Chowchilla.
Representing the Sierra Lions Club of Oakhurst was Malaya Brown, a Yosemite High senior.
This year’s topic was “Is the Right of Privacy a Threat to Our National Security?”
Stewart and Brown received $100 for winning their respective club contests and Stewart received $150 for winning at the Zone level. The winner of the Regional event will be presented $250 and will advance to the District contest with a winner’s check for $4,500, followed by the Area and State contest on June 3 in Pasadena.
Total scholarships awarded in the contest amount to more than $100,000.
Last year’s state winner was Claire Libby of Sonoma Valley High School. The subject was “Water conservation - How do we reduce, reuse and reclaim it.”
This is the 80th year Lions International has sponsored the Student Speakers Program. Since the beginning, the purpose of the contest has been to provide an opportunity for competitive public speaking among students on a subject of vital interest to the contestants and to the American people, to stimulate self-expression and independent thinking, and to present to the public through the student speakers contests the problems surrounding the maintenance of a free nation.
The 10-minute speeches are evaluated on 10 criteria including the text of the speech, originality, evidence supporting the main points, voice control, sincerity, enthusiasm, poise, and clear and persuasive conclusion.
Tom Heather of the Sierra Lions Club served as chairman of the Zone contest and judges were Candace Flammang, Karen Hutchins and Brian Wilkinson.
About Lions Club: Lions are men and women who volunteer their time to humanitarian causes in their local and world communities. The Lion’s motto is “We Serve.” The International Association of Lions Clubs was founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1917. It is the world’s largest service club organization with 1.38 million members in 219 countries.