More than $475 was raised for local charities as a result of the students’ advocacy speeches in the Speak Up. Speak Out. Project.
KOKOMO, Ind. – Ivy Tech Professional Communication student Rebecca McVay won the college’s second-annual Speak Up. Speak Out. (SUSO) Project on Tuesday night in Kokomo, raising $226 for Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child in the process. McVay, selected by a panel of judges, beat out three other finalists for the top honor in the public speaking competition by exhibiting the best combination of outstanding vocal and physical delivery as well as exceptional speech organization, among other traits. By winning, McVay earned tuition for a three-credit-hour class.
Agriculture student Carlee Glassburn had a big night as well, winning runner-up honors for the competition while also being named the People’s Choice Award winner. The People’s Choice Award winner is selected by the audience; audience members vote with monetary donations and the award goes to the student who raises the most money during the voting. As a result, nearly $250 will be donated to Agapé Therapeutic Riding.
The two other students who competed during the finals included Christina Pifer, a Health Care Support student speaking on behalf of Peak Community Services, and Michael Eads, a Computer Information Technology student advocating in support for the Kokomo Rescue Mission’s Red Ribbon Christmas. Finalists Christian Rappuhn and Ann Pinkerton were unable to attend.
The SUSO Project is a voluntary speech competition among Kokomo Region students who have taken or are currently taking the college’s Fundamentals of Public Speaking course. Each participant selected a nonprofit organization and delivered a persuasive speech on its behalf. To make it to the finals, the students gave condensed versions of their speeches during the semifinal competition on April 2.
The SUSO Project has two broad purposes: to help students connect the principles of public speaking with civic responsibility and to start them on the road to civic engagement through interaction with a community organization. It gives students the opportunity to connect the lessons of their public speaking class to “real-world” application, using principles learned in class to attempt to steer an audience toward a very real goal.