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High School Students Invited to Participate in Speak-Off Competition

Gain Public Speaking Experience While Competing for Cash Prizes

San Diego County CA— High school students in grades 9 – 12, with an interest in agriculture, resource conservation, or the environment are encouraged to compete in a Speak-Off Competition, where they can gain valuable public speaking experience and have a chance at winning up to $550.

The Speak-Off is a state-wide competition sponsored by local Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs). Students first compete at the regional level – via a video speech submission – with the top speaker advancing to the state competition, where students deliver their speeches live. Speeches are three to five minutes in length and address a pertinent issue in the world of conservation. This year’s topic – Why do we need to act to save the monarch butterfly? What can RCDs do to help? – is particularly relevant. Pollinators such as bees, butterflies and birds, which are responsible for one of every three bites of food we eat, are disappearing at an alarming rate.

The deadline for regional video speech submissions is Monday, September 30, at 11:59 pm. The state competition will be on November 14 in Redding, CA. There are cash prizes at both the regional and state levels. In addition, travel expenses for the state competitors are paid for by their local (RCD). The cash prizes are:

  • Regional Competition: $250 first place; $150 second place; $100 third place (first place winner advances to state competition)
  • State Competition: $300 first place; $200 second place; $100 third place

Any high school student who resides in the SoCal Baja Region of RCDs is eligible to enter the competition. The Region encompasses most of San Diego County and portions of Riverside and Imperial Counties, where the following Resource Conservation Districts preside:

  • San Diego RCD
  • Upper San Luis Rey RCD
  • Coachella Valley RCD
  • Imperial Irrigation District
  • Palo Verde (Blythe) RCD
  • Bard RCD

All the Speak-Off details, including a regional map, rules, eligibility, and online application are available on the San Diego RCD website: http://rcdsandiego.org under the Education/Supporting High School Conservationists tab.  For more information, please contact Sierra Reiss at 619-562-0096 or sierra.reiss@rcdsandiego.org.