The Lakewood Chapter took first place in the Fall Virtual Purple Division of the New Jersey Orators statewide competition, that was held on Saturday, December 5, 2020. This was the first ever virtual competition due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
We had no idea what to expect with the competition being held via Zoom. Our coaches and parents had no doubt that our Orators would be able to rise to the occasion. They worked hard, stayed focused, motivated and supportive of one another. They also had to do remote learning for school, so this was a test of resilience for them to participate in our practices. They participated without complaint making the transition even smoother.
Head Coach Evelyn Hargrove, who has served as lead coach for the Lakewood Chapter for more than 20 years, expressed her excitement and is truly proud and grateful to all the Lakewood Chapter participants. Eight out of nine qualified members of the Lakewood Chapter individually competed in various oratory categories that demonstrated their oratory abilities in delivering declamation, original oratory, demonstration, illustration, dramatic and oral interpretation of poetry and prose, and extemporaneous speeches.
The Lakewood Chapter of young Orators competed against more than 50 other highly talented orators from other chapters around the state of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In the end, the stellar performances of Jordyn Osbourne (age 12), Caleb Chester (age12), Mason Davis (age 13), Felipe Cabrera-Bivins (age 13), Ahwill Shells (age 14), Colin Chester (age 15), Saivion Rodriguez (age 16), Miles Davis (age 17) and Ezekiel Luster (age 16) propelled the chapter to a sound victory. With roaring excitement, they were awarded the 3-feet tall New Jersey Orators 2020 Fall Purple Competition trophy.
Ms. Hargrove expresses her sincere gratitude to the parents, and coaches; Lisa Brown, Virginia Enoch, Karen Moreland, Monique Chester, Aretha Bivins, and Tamara Osbourne for working so hard for this achievement despite the challenges faced due to COVID-19. Ms. Hargrove advised all the Lakewood Orators to celebrate their awesome achievement with their family over the next holidays and then begin preparing for the spring 2021 competition. Weekly chapter spring practices begin the week of January 11, 2021.
Remember “A positive investment in our youth, is a positive investment in our world.”
The Lakewood Chapter wants to thank the New Jersey Orators board of directors and their technical support team for creating a virtual platform for this year’s oratorical competition to continue without suspension of programming. We also thank our Lakewood Macedonia Baptist Church family for their many years of continuous support and sponsorship.
About The New Jersey Orators, Inc.
The New Jersey Orators, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(C) 3 youth organization that teaches the art of public speaking, an appreciation for literature, civic engagement and college readiness workshops, and life skills to youth between the ages of 7 and 18 in preparation for college. In a culturally enriched context, Orators practice public speaking and leadership skills to build confidence and self-esteem. Additional information about The New Jersey Orators can be found at www.oratorsinc.org.