Recap: 2016 “I Have a Dream” Contest


From left to right: Aleeha Kalam, Heather Gammon, Roger Fang

On Thursday, June 2, 16 brave Mustangs took the stand to speak in front of a crowd of over 100 students about facing problems in the world today. Here’s a quick look at the topics covered that night:

  • Sierra Bauerle (11) spoke on the the issue of sexual assault in her speech titled, “Person Not Possession.”
  • Brooke Gagnon (11) spoke on the issue of adopting animals in her speech titled, “How to Save a Life.”
  • Marissa Stinnett (12) spoke on the issue of finding a passion in her speech titled, “Beginning from the Blanks.”
  • Sammy Kassab (12) spoke on the issue of personal influences in his speech titled, “Influences.”
  • Prabhleen Kaur (12) spoke on the issue of acceptance in her speech titled, “Your Inalienable Rights to be You.”
  • Aleeha Kalam (12) spoke on the issue of labeling by number in her speech titled, “Beyond the Number.”
  • Tianna White (11) spoke on the issue of shaming in her speech titled, “In a World of Shame.”
  • Darshan Patel (12) spoke on the issue of obsession with material success in his speech titled, “The Siren Song of Success.”
  • Heather Gammon (12) spoke on the issue of feminism in her speech titled, “The Relevance of Feminism in Today’s World.”
  • Sloane Osmers (11) spoke on the issue of the caste system in her speech titled, “The Dalits.”
  • Joseph Toubbeh (11) spoke on the issue of war resulting in refugees in his speech titled, “This is Not Home.”
  • Angela Chuang (11) spoke on the issue of Asian-American Hate Crimes in her speech titled, “188.”
  • George Abdallah (12) spoke on the issue of government intervention in foreign countries in his speech titled, “Not a Taboo Word.”
  • Jason Lee (12) spoke on the issue of human trafficking in his speech titled, “Voiceless.”
  • Roger Fang (12) spoke on the issue of labeling the current generation in his speech titled, “The Me Generation.”
  • Bridgette Roberts (11) spoke on the issue of insulting labels in her speech titled, “A Label-less Society.”

Congratulations to all who participated in Yorba Linda High School Interact Club’s “I Have a Dream” Speech, held under the direction of advisor, Rey Lejano.

You gave the audience hope that because of people like you, tomorrow will be better than today.

Talented dreamers like you are the bridge between the world today and the world that you want to live in.

As for those who took the top prizes home, college scholarships provided by the Yorba Linda Sunrise Rotary Club, they are:

1st place—Aleeha Kalam: Beyond the Numbers ($200)

2nd place—Heather Gammon: The Relavence of Feminism in Today’s World ($150)

3rd place—Roger Fang: The Us Generation ($100)

All together, those in attendance helped raise $293 for the refugee crisis in North Africa, Europe and the Middle East. That $293 is a ripple of hope that hopefully will be joined by other ripples of hope throughout the world to help people who have lost everything except for hope.

The greatest takeaway? A change in perspective for audience members. Riley Rose (12), who attended in support of her friends, believed that the speech contest “was refreshing and reassured me that young people CAN make a difference!” Her favorite part? “Seeing all [her] fellow peers so passionate on their specific topic!” The 2016 speech contest was definitely another great success.