BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A group of students took to the podium at Biloxi's Martin Luther King, Jr. building on Saturday for a speech competition.
Hosted by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Incorporated, the Speak Up-Speak Out & Ann Owen Gordon Oratorical Competition had 12 contestants.
There were four different age groups, all with different speech topics.
"We're putting our children's oratorical skills on display, which gives them practice in a safe setting so we can support their skills," said Dr. Tammy Means, oratorical chairperson. "We know that oratorical and good public speaking skills are important in them being good leaders."
Participants ranged from 5 to 18 years old.
"First it was a lot of research that I needed to do in my speech," said Kalen Means. "I don't know a lot about Nelson Mandela and Frederick Douglass, but after doing research and practicing, I felt like I was ready to do this.
Eleven-year-old Kennedy Means and 15-year-old Nate' Bridges won the competition.