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Illinois Judicial Council – Community Engagement Outreach Committee
by Judge Stanley L. Hill
The Illinois Judicial Council’s Community Engagement Outreach Committee produces the Inspirational Speech Awards in collaboration with Push Excel, Inc. focusing young people on the power of eloquent persuasive speech to ensure young future leaders have the opportunity to build their leadership talents through oratorical exercises. The contest provides a platform for students in 1st through 12th grades to compete in a stimulating and enjoyable rhetorical competition by memorizing and reciting speeches that have the enormous power to inspire us to always make us try a little harder, risk a little more and gain power for our life. The speeches promote: 1) strong moral ideals, 2) excellence in education and 3) sound communication skills.
The contest advocates good citizenship with significant backing by our member judges and justices who graciously volunteer to observe and judge the tournaments. It is important that we expose our children to childhood experiences of being listened to, being spoken to respectfully, receiving appropriate attention and affection and having accomplishments recognized and mistakes and failures acknowledged to build healthy self-esteem. With this exposure, children are able to proceed with confidence, benevolence and optimism, and be more ambitious to reach their goals. Encouraged by an inspiring “succeeding-against-the-odds message” that will live “through every line of pain and glory” they will increase their capacity to be happy and to treat other people with respect, kindness and goodwill, thus favoring rich interpersonal relationships and avoiding destructive violent ones.
The last contest held on December 20th was outstanding with 116 children participating simultaneously in Chicago and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. IJC is committed to carrying on its community engagement outreach goals by our members continuing to volunteer to judge and working together with Push Excel to produce the next Inspirational Speech Awards contest on April 25, 2015.
Dreams don’t come true. Dreams are made true. What we have we must make. What we cherish we must achieve. What we wish to keep we must defend.