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Tri-Valley Students Compete in Annual Rotary Speech Contest

Original post made by Jim Brice, Mission Park, on Feb 10, 2022

Three Tri-Valley high school students drew on firsthand experiences for the theme “Serve to Change Lives” to win Rotary District 5170’s club-level, Richard D. King Annual Youth Speech Contest Feb. 3 at Foothill High School, Pleasanton.

Arya Krishna, a junior at Foothill High, Shrey Raj, a junior at Dublin High School, and Audrey Shotland, a ninth grader at The Athenian School, Danville, each won $200 cash awards and qualified for the second of three rounds that will lead to district finals and its $1000 top prize in April. Colin Gillette, a Foothill ninth grader, and Ashley Mantha, an Amador High ninth grader, placed second.

Because of surging Covid-19 cases, the contest was actually three club-level contests combined into one. The sponsoring chapters were Dublin Rotary Club, Pleasanton North Rotary (PNR), and Tri-Valley Evening Rotary Club, according to Kevin Greenlee, PNR youth service coordinator.

The theme, selected by Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta, refers to his personal commitment to community service through Rotary, which he has said, "kindled the spark within me to look beyond myself and embrace humanity."

In that spirit, contestant Krishna described how serving others changed her life. Raj stressed the importance of self-sacrifice, and Shotland recommended serving others to become a better version of yourself.

The Rotary clubs of District 5170 support the annual contest with three goals in mind. It strives to increase awareness about the importance of effective public speaking as a communications skill and for leadership development. It spreads the word about Rotary International’s humanitarian mission, and it strives to increase participation in the speech contest itself and the skills its participants learn by competing. For more information, see

Students show how they finished in Rotary’s 2022 Club-Level, Richard D. King Annual Youth Service Contest. From left, second place finishers Colin Gillette and Ashley Mantha and first place finishers Shrey Raj, Arya Krishna, and Audrey Shotland