HOUSTON (CW39) Today, elementary school students honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the final rounds of the Foley & Lardner MLK Jr. Oratory Competitions with HISD students.
The fourth and fifth-graders presented original speeches about “how MLK Jr.’s teachings can help us today.”
Houston’s first-place winner, Vivianna Serna, started her speech with a colorful and vivid memory of when she first experienced racism at six years old and being judged by the color of her brown skin. The student then expressed her concerns with the current social unrest and our worldwide health pandemic, reminding us that Dr. King would want us not to stumble but press on.
While reflecting on the world’s current trials and tribulations, Vivianna stated, “We must meet forces of hate with the power of love. Dr. King always preached on the power of love.” She ended with her strongest belief and a quote from Dr. King himself, “The time is always right to do what is right.”
“This year’s MLK Jr. oratory competition was a momentous occasion. It was the 25th anniversary of this event in Houston. We’re operating in unprecedented times, and the world needs to hear these students’ voices now more than ever,” said Claude Treece, Foley’s chief administrative partner and longtime event chair of the Houston competition. “I’m honored to have witnessed the intelligence and poise from these students. They always inspire me, and I hope they brought optimism to everybody who watched.”
Pahy’tton Williams, a fourth-grade student from Foster Elementary, placed second in the Houston competition, while Jakiyah Bickham, a fourth-grade student from Pleasantville Elementary, took home third place.