Results Announced for 69th Annual Henry Greve Speech Contest

Friday March 22, 2024

Kern County 7th and 8th graders competed in the 69th annual Henry Greve Speech Contest Thursday evening. Each of the competing students had between four-and-a-half and seven minutes to convince the judges with their persuasive speeches, answering the prompt: “How Can One Person Make A Difference?”

The competition, sponsored by Bakersfield Toastmasters “Golden Empire” Club No. 270 and the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office, awarded trophies to the first, second and third place finishers. The champion’s perpetual trophy goes on display at the winner’s school for one year.

Each of the participants competed in virtual classroom, school, and district speech contests to qualify for the county championship. Their performances were judged on oratorical development, effectiveness, language, and physical presentation.

First Place champion, Oladoyin Oladimeji, says she was overwhelmed with her win, especially when faced with such talented competition.

“I was definitely not expecting it because everyones’ speeches were just beautiful,” she said. “I’m very honored to get this award. It means a lot to me because I worked really hard on my speech.”

Henry Greve speech champion Oladoyin Oladimeji with the first-place trophy that will be displayed at her school, Warren Jr. High.

The contest is named in memory of Henry Greve Jr., a KCSOS speech and language therapist. He was past president of the Toastmasters Club and responsible for forming Junior Toastmasters Clubs in area schools.

Oladimeji said it can be terrifying to put yourself out there and speak in public, but she was grateful for the support of her family, teacher and friends.

“I was just telling myself ‘I’m here to show these people what I have to say,’ so that just helped me get through it,” she said.

This year’s top three participants were:

1st — Oladoyin Oladimeji / Warren Junior High
2nd — Anjali Kakarla / Warren Junior High
3rd — Shravani Kolape / Fruitvale Junior High

Left: Shravani Kolape, Center: Anjali Kakarla, Right: Oladoyin Oladimeji

By Katie Avery

By Katie Avery

Katie Avery joined the Kern County Superintendent of Schools in 2023 as a Communications Specialist. As a former journalist and marketing professional, her passions include media and storytelling. Before joining KCSOS, Avery worked for various local TV stations as well as the health care industry.