Escalon High School senior Melissa Mendieta-Hernandez claimed top honors at both a local and area competition and will now move on to the District Level for the Rotary Club speech contest.
First, the senior was voted as the first place winner in the Escalon Sunrise Rotary Club Speech Contest in early February. The event was hosted via Zoom and was coordinated by longtime Club member and retired educator/administrator Dave Mantooth. Topic for this year’s event was “Together We Open Opportunities” and there were prizes awarded for first, second and third place in addition to two runner-up recognition awards.
Each year, said local Rotary officials, the Rotary International President chooses a theme. This year’s President, Holger Knaach, chose the theme “Rotary Opens Opportunities”.
Officials with the organization note that “Rotary’s membership connects us to a global community through our projects and involvement in community service.” More information about the Rotary can be found at www.rotary.org.
Mendieta-Hernandez received a $125 cash prize for her first place effort. Taking second place in the Escalon contest was freshman Destiny Reyes, earning a $100 cash prize. Third place was awarded to senior Aidan Krieger, who earned $75 for his efforts. Selected for runner-up honors, each receiving a $50 award, were junior Goretti Rodriguez and senior Irene Fernandez.
After competing and winning at the local level, Mendieta-Hernandez advanced to the Rotary Area Speech Contest on Thursday, Feb. 25 and once again claimed top honors. The first place at the Area level puts her into the District competition. That speech contest is set for Saturday, March 20 and will feature the winners from the 12 different areas in the Rotary District 5220.