David M. Jones Persuasive Speech Contest Winners for 2024
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David M. Jones Persuasive Speech Contest Winners for 2024

Student earns top honors among speakers who presented at the 21st annual David Jones Persuasive Speaking Contest.

Four Parkland College students earned top honors among the 10 persuasive speakers who recently presented at the 21st annual David Jones Persuasive Speaking Contest.

The competition, which highlights the speaking styles and skills of students who have taken a Communication class at Parkland College, gives the students the opportunity to speak in support of their favorite charity. Local and national charities were represented.

Earning first-place honors in this year's April 25 competition was Amina Alamin, whose speech supporting the First Followers Re-Entry Program earned her a $500 scholarship. The First Followers Re-Entry Program will also receive a $500 donation from the Communication Program faculty.

"This was a great opportunity to grow my public speaking skills. I gained confidence in myself, and it will definitely help in my future education endeavors," Alamin said about the experience. "If you're thinking about competing, go for it! You really can't lose when it comes to spreading awareness about a charity that is close to your heart, and the Parkland Presentation Center is a great resource to get advice and ease your nerves."

Lizz Frazier came in second with her speech for the Crisis Nursery. She will receive $250. Adam Zwawi was third, with a speech asking the audience to support United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). He will receive $100. The fourth place award of $50 went to Avery Hannah, who supported Women in Aviation International (WAI).

Each year, Parkland's Communication faculty selects communication professionals within the community and campus as finalist judges. This year, the judges included Susan McGinty, Chief Growth and Advocacy Officer for University of Illinois Community Credit Union; Alicia Buskirk, Digital News Supervisor for WAND-TV; David Leake, retired Director of Stearkel Planetarium; Mark Saint McDowell, Associate Director of Parkland TRiO Student Support Services; Niki O'Brien, Parkland First Year Experience and Inclusive Learning Coordinator.

The contest is sponsored by the the University of Illinois Community Credit Union; Parkland College Communication program; Parkland College Arts, Media, and Social Sciences department; and is supported by donations made to David Jones Persuasive Speech Contest Scholarship Fund. The fund was created in honor of Jones, former chair of the Fine and Applied Arts department from 1988 until his death from cancer in 2002. The annual speech contest honors Dr. Jones' commitment to the communication discipline and student enrichment.

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