By Sulz, Dave on January 11, 2020.
Four students qualify through I.O.O.F. speech competition
Four southern Alberta high school students have earned an all-expense-paid trip to participate this summer in the annual I.O.O.F. Pilgrimage for Youth.
The students qualified for the pilgrimage through the annual speech competition sponsored by the Lethbridge chapter of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Three of the students took part in the competition Dec. 14 while a fourth student who was unable to participate was given an opportunity to deliver her speech in January.
Shada Aborawi, a Grade 11 student from LCI, captured first place in the Dec. 14 event with a talk on the topic of Muslim oppression. Second place went to Chelsea Mills, a Grade 11 student at Vauxhall High School, who spoke about suicide and mental illness. First runner-up was Kimoya Edwards, in Grade 11 at LCI, for a speech about “Oppression of Race and Religion.”
Addison Heggie, a Grade 10 student at LCI, claimed the second runner-up award and the fourth spot on the pilgrimage by presenting a speech Jan. 7 concerning the opioid crisis.
Aborawi and Mills were presented with the Snowden Memorial Trophy, which they will share through the coming year.
The four students will spend two weeks in early July visiting the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa and the Capitol in Washington D.C. The pilgrimage will include a week in New York City where they will see such sights as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, as well as visit the United Nations and meet with some of the UN delegates.
The judges for the speech competition included retired minister Rev. Austin Fennell, retired school principal Greg Hales and retired teacher-librarian Anne Pauls.
Following the speeches, Lethbridge Lodge #2 hosted a coffee-and-refreshments time to allow the students and parents to meet the judges and each other.