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Young Marine wins BIG oratorical contest

By Bill Robinson | | May 10, 2001

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The Region IV sixth annual Blacks In Government Oratorical Contest was held April 28 at the Governors House Hotel in Montgomery, Ala. Seven eloquent orations were given from Region IV area high schools contestants. Each winner was awarded a U.S. savings bond: first place was $1,000 awarded to the contestant from Center for Disease Control; second place was $500 awarded to the contestant from TVA Chapter, and third place was $250 awarded to the contestant from the Albany Area Chapter.

Albany's participant was Young Marines' commanding officer Shirmeika Saunders, a 10th grader enrolled at Albany High School's Magnet Program. Saunders is in the top 10 percent of her sophomore class. She holds membership in Teenage Student Council, Spanish Club, Excel, Key Club, Beta Club, Debate Team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Student Council, and is class secretary. Saunders is also a member of the softball, basketball and tennis teams. She is affiliated with Greater Second Mt. Olive Baptist Church and is active in the 'TEAM' teen ministry there.

The Albany Chapter of BIG held its sixth annual Oratorical Contest March 30, at Phoebe Convenient Care East Board Room. The national theme was 'Bridging, Bonding and Building Our Community.'

Five contestants ranging from 10th through 12th grade students from Albany and Dougherty High Schools expressed their thoughts and opinions on this theme. The contestants were Latrice Fields, Albany High senior; Virginia Malone, Dougherty High senior; Saunders, Albany High sophomore; Reginald Thomas, Dougherty High sophomore; and Jasmyne Walker, Albany High sophomore. First place winner of the local contest was Malone. Saunders placed second and, Walker came in third. The winners received $300, $200 and $100 savings bonds.

Malone was scheduled to accompany the local BIG Chapter to the Governors House Hotel to compete in the Region IV Oratorical Contest. However, other high school obligations prohibited her attendance. Instead, Saunders represented BIG's local chapter. The Albany Chapter Chairperson for the Oratorical Contest was base employee, Debra Capers.

Blacks In Government is a national organization whose goals are to promote equality, provide opportunity for all Americans and encourage others to excel in all aspects of life. The purpose of the BIG National Oratorical contest is to emphasize the role today's youth play in tomorrow's future.

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