SLPS senior wins Oral Advocacy Competition
Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 12:05 am
By American staff
McKinley senior Taevosha Blackwell with Michael Walton, Mound City Bar Association president
McKinley Classical Leadership Academy senior Taevosha Blackwell knows how to make a convincing argument. In fact, she made such a powerful case in her presentation to a panel of judges at this year’s National Bar Association Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Justice Oral Advocacy Competition that she earned first place.
Blackwell will now represent St. Louis in the Region VIII event to be held in Kansas City, Missouri, on May 18. There she will compete with students from Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota for the honor of moving on to the National Competition scheduled for July 31 in Miami.
Students placing in the Regional and National competitions share in $25,000 in scholarship awards.
Sponsored by the National Bar Association and supported by the National Bar Institute, the competition is designed to motivate students of color to excel in education. The contest encourages high school juniors and seniors to express their views on a pre-selected topic and judges the students on their ability to communicate orally and in writing.
In the St. Louis competition, sponsored by the Mound City Bar Association and Sandberg Phoenix, students were invited to submit an essay addressing the Trayvon Martin killing and Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law.
Joining Blackwell as finalists were: Nathan Bolden, Jr. (Clyde C. Miller Career Academy) and James Guerin(McKinley Classical Leadership Academy). Bolden earned second place in the Oral Advocacy Competition and will join Blackwell at the regional event.
Mavis T. Thompson, past president of the NBA, chaired the St. Louis event. The judges were Judge Donald McCullin (retired, 22nd Judicial Circuit), Judge Anne-Marie Clarke (Family Court commissioner, 22nd Judicial Circuit) and Nicole Colbert-Botchway (president-elect of the Mound City Bar Association).
The Oral Advocacy Competition was videotaped and will air on SLPS-TV (cable channel 988) and is also available for viewing on the St. Louis Public School District website at www.slps.org (click on theSLPS-TV link).
The story can be accessed here.