11-Year-Old Elementary Law School Student Wins HISD MLK Speech Competition

Candence Smith’s speech focused on “what would MLK say today about hope for tomorrow?”

HOUSTON. The best and brightest representatives of Houston ISD were presented on Friday at the 27th annual MLK Public Speaking Competition.

The 12 finalists from across the county dazzled and inspired the judges with their glowing speeches of hope for tomorrow.

Fourth and fifth grade students presented three to five minute speeches about what Dr. King would say to all of us today about hope for tomorrow.

“It’s always tough competition,” Scott Ellis said with Foley and Lardner. “These kids are amazing. You listen to these speeches and you leave with new hope for our society.”

Each of the 12 finalists received a $100 prize. Xavier Holmes finished third. Journey Sensley took 2nd place, but it was the words of 11-year-old Candance Smith that won her 1st place. Smith also won a $1,000 prize that moved her to tears.

“I thought they really just called me,” Smith said. “Words couldn’t describe what was going on in my head.”

Watch the performances of all 12 finalists in the video below:

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