San Jose, April 19, 2017: Moreland School District announced that two Moreland Middle School students placed first and second place in the Santa Clara County Optimist Oratorical Contest. As the only two middle school students competing against all high school students, 8th graders Ishaan Iyer (1st place) and Rujula Rao (2nd place) qualified for the state finals on Saturday, April 22, 2017 in Sacramento.
Responding to the topic, “What the World Gains from Optimism,” students initially submitted their speech to compete in the local Optimist club level before qualifying for the County competition. Winners of the state competition have the chance to win a $2500 scholarship for first place, $1500 for second place, and $1000 for third place.
The Optimist Oratorical Contest was first conducted in 1928. Open to students under the age of 18, the Optimist Oratorical Contest is designed for youth to gain experience in public speaking and provide them with the opportunity to speak to the world. More than $150,000 in college scholarships will be given to the winning candidates.