Speakers earn spots at district finals

 In Community

Two local orators earned themselves a spot at the district public speaking finals. 
Ruby McQueen (left) advanced through several levels of local competitions with her speech on vaping. 
“I thought it was fitting for the time,” said McQueen, a Grade 7 student at Nottawasaga and Creemore Public School. 
She said she sees it as a wide scale problem as well as a local issue, with area students taking up the habit. 
In her research, McQueen said she learned the statistics show people start vaping as young as 10 and that it can make people sick, in fact vaping can be more deadly than smoking. She also talked about how suppliers market to youth by selling vaping products in candy flavours. 
Although McQueen is keeping an open mind about her future career path she is considering a job in the field of healthcare.  
Lily Pearce, a Grade 8 student at Nottawa Public School, advanced to the district finals with her speech on karma. 
“With karma, people think a lot about trading karma – If you do something, you’ll get something back – but I talk about how we should all be investing in good karma to live a good life and to help people out,” said Pearce.
She talks about the difference between Buddhist and the Western adaptations of karma. In the former, the idea is that positive thoughts and actions equal positive outcomes, and in the latter, more modern version of karma, it is a thing of fate or cosmic justice.
Pearce was inspired by a conversation she had with her father after they watched the television show My Name Is Earl, about a petty criminal who decides to correct his bad deeds to wipe out his never-ending misfortune.
Both students have had success with their speeches since they started in their school’s public speaking contests in Grade 4 and have advanced to speech competitions by the Lions and the Legion. They both wrote their speeches over the Christmas break and spent a lot of time practicing. They say they like the process of writing, and delivering the speech, but they both get a little nervous before each presentation.
Both speakers have done well in the past but have made it beyond the zone level competition for the first time this year. They were both set to compete at the District Level in Bradford on March 28. With all school and community events cancelled due to COVID-19, they have not yet been informed if the contest will be rescheduled in the future. 

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