Aine Ford ’18 Wins Lions’ Club States Speech Competition

Aine Ford '18 Wins Lions’ Club States Speech Competition

By Julia Convery ‘19, Class & Clubs Editor

   Aine Ford ‘18 entered into the Lions’ Club Youth Speech Competition in early December, along with Gabby Landry ‘18, Ciara Young ‘18, Catherine Souza ‘18 and Anneka Ignatius ‘18. The Lions’ Club Youth Speech Competition begins as a town-held competition in Medfield, in which students learn to develop their public speaking skills and may be awarded for their participation in the competition based on their performance. The Lions’ Club assigned students to write a speech using the following prompt: “In what ways has social media changed society?”

Aine Ford’s winning speech focused on social media’s effects on teenagers and their self-worth. In deciding how to approach the assigned topic, Aine said: “I chose to not really take a side, but essentially write a motivational speech about how social media by itself doesn’t do any harm, but the people who use it have the capacity to do a lot of dangerous things. I essentially talked about how it has changed how we measure our self-worth.”

Speech Lab and English teacher Mrs. Hill assisted the students in developing their presentations. Mrs. Hill said: “Some focused on the harmful effects of social media, others on the effects of sexualizing young people, and others were positive, especially in the areas of global change and spending of ideas.”

In the town competition, her speech won first place while Catherine Souza ‘18 won runner-up. From there Aine moved on to the zone competitions which consists of the surrounding five towns, then to regions (two zones in the area), then to districts (five regions), and finally to states, which Aine cinched as the top Lions’ Club Youth Competition speaker for the whole state.

Winning is not easy. There are several rounds within each competition, and that means presenting your speech multiple times as well as listening to others’ speeches. Although the process of composing the speech and competing is challenging and sometimes exhausting, Aine still managed to enjoy the challenge and the competition.

She shared that through writing the piece, “I found that it was kind of a self-reflection as well, because as I was writing it I realized that almost everyone around me was affected on some level by social media, whether we are conscious of it or not. “ Aine’s take on the topic reminds us that we should be careful when using social media. The effects of social media on us and others can change on how we look at ourselves and others. So the next time you go on social media, be careful what you post and what you expose yourself to.

Congratulations to Aine and all the other competitors in the Lions’ Club Youth Speech Competition!