Speaking talent on display at TEDx semi-finals


Christian Casale

Wilson won 1st place for her speech about American youth.

It was a morning of anxiety followed by relief for ten Wiregrass Ranch student speakers, who gave their TEDx speeches at the Pasco-Hernando Community College Porter Campus in hopes of impressing the panel of four judges enough to advance to regionals.

The event began with an opening monologue by Speech & Debate Club President Kyle Harris, who was voted the “Most Original” boy of the Class of 2017 by his peers. Harris’ jokes and explanation of the reasoning behind Ted Talks and public speaking as a whole warmed up the crowed before the speakers went up.

“This took weeks of practice to get ready, a lot of it taking place in the shower. Usually eating an orange, believe it or not.” Harris joked.

Sophomore, Treasure Wilson took home the first place prize for her speech about how today’s youth are growing up too fast due to changing societal conditions. Second place went to Cameron Igar’s speech about the unhealthiness of modern soft drinks. Wilson and Igar will move on to the regional conference, where their speeches will be recorded for the official Tedx YouTube Channel. Tied for third place was Senior, Luis Pereira, with his presentation about hate speech, and Chris Dang, talking about the Syrian Refugee crisis.

Mrs. Williams, a 10th grade English teacher at Wiregrass Ranch and the sponsor of the Speech & Debate club, organized the whole event and couldn’t hide the pride that she had in her students.

“It would be really difficult to say which speeches I enjoyed the most,” Williams gushed. “I am just so proud of each and every one of them. All of the talks were so perfect.”

When asked how the winners were able to distinguish themselves from the rest, she had a somewhat surprising answer.

“The fact that they had a personal story; I think that really made them stand out more,” Williams stated.

You can view the speeches in their entirety here.