YLHS “I Have a Dream” Speech Contest


Photo provided by Mr. Lejano: Last year Heather Gammon, Aleeha Kalam, and Roger Fang won the “I Have a Dream” Speech Contest.

Brooke Gagnon, Photojournalist

Yorba Linda High School students have the opportunity to spark change in the community and raise funds for a special cause on Thursday, May 25th. Every year, Mr. Lejano holds an “I Have a Dream” speech contest for Yorba Linda students. Students are granted the opportunity to craft a speech that brings light upon a certain issue they feel is prevalent in our society.


This speech contest was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s original “I Have a Dream” speech, in which he delivered on August 28th, 1963 advocating for an end to racism. His speech had an everlasting effect as students still study this speech today. Mr. Lejano’s speech contest grants Yorba Linda High School students the ability to craft their own speeches on a topic in which they wish to draw attention towards, hopefully having a small effect on solving their issue. Last years topics included bullying, refugees, and animal abuse.

Signups for all YLHS students who are interested in competing will be posted on Mr. Lejano’s door, room 307, on Friday May 19th in the morning. Tryouts will be held on Monday the 22nd and Tuesday the 23rd. Students have to perform their speeches in front of a select group of teachers. The speeches are supposed to range anywhere from three to five minutes.  The list of finalists will be posted on Mr. Lejano’s door on Wednesday. The finals will be held in the Forum at Yorba Linda High School. They will be speaking on behalf of their causes, but also will be competing for three scholarships. The winner will be awarded $200 while second place earns $150 and third place earns $100, courtesy of Yorba Linda Sunrise Rotary Club.

Those who attend the event have the opportunity to donate to a specific cause. Every year students raise funds for a different organization. Last year participants raised nearly $300 for  The International Rescue Committee.

When asked about the contest, Angela Chuang (12) stated, “I had the chance to participate last year, and I am glad that I did. It was truly inspiring to hear all of the speeches from my peers. Everyone spoke on a unique topics in which they were so passionate about. At the end of the night, I was inspired to reflect upon all of the issues that I see as prevalent in our society and think about what actions I could take to help alleviate these problems.” It is great to see the Mustangs trying to make the world a better place.