Young orators channel their inner MLK, Jr.,

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It's an opportunity for kids from all over the Houston area to showcase their public speaking skills. The 19th annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition finals were held inside the historic Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Christ in downtown Houston Friday.

Kids from 24 HISD elementary schools participated in the grueling competition with only 12 students chosen to compete in the finals. The fourth- and fifth-graders compose their own, original 3-5 minute speech, incorporating ideals from Dr. King's writings, speeches and other records. This year's theme was in the form of a questions, "If Dr. King were to win the Nobel Peace Prize today, what would he say in his acceptance speech?"

The annual competition is sponsored by the Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP law firm to commemorate the life of Dr. King.

Eyewitness news had a chance to speak with some of the competitors before the competition and among them was today's winner, Chase Roberts. The 5th grader from Cornelius Elementary told us his strategy was to "stay calm, just hear the other speakers" and "have a good time".

His speech asked the question, "Am I my brother's keeper?" His answer was "Yes, I am."

Chase also told the 330 plus audience that "what affects one directly affects all indirectly." Watch Chase in an upcoming episode of Crossroads which airs Sunday, Feburary 15, at 11:30am.

Congratulations Chase and to all the 12 finalists!
Related topics:
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.