Original Oratory: Original Placement

A feature on fellow editor in chief and featured competitor on our UIL academic team. 


Janelle De Jesus, Feature Editor

Aya Kasim, junior, competitor in the speaking event of original oratory for American Legion recently competed in Brenham, Texas for a chance at first place. She traveled two and a half hours to the city with UIL coach and teacher Tessa Greogory. While Kasim did not finish with a winning title, she still managed to have a once in a lifetime experience at the competition. 

Kasim competed against two boys and fell short to the state champion of three years, but as a second year competitor of the event, she did phenomenal. Kasim presented two speeches, the first being her 10 minute prepared oratory titled “City on a Hill” and a five minute extemporaneous speech informing the audience about the judicial branch. Kasim had a flawless performance with zero fumbles, allowing herself to be successful in the eyes of her audience and coach. 

“The audience was amazingly responsive,” junior Kasim said. “The interest they had in what I had to say really cheered me on and reminded me of why I go through the nerves of public speaking, especially in front of people who have given so much for our country and our lives.” 

Kasim was given the opportunity to speak to US veterans and many officials. Kasim is grateful to have been given the opportunity and would not have been able to be this successful without help of teachers and coaches Gregory and Doctor Keith Jones. Jones and Gregory have grown very fond of Kasim over the years as her teachers and are both extremely excited to see what she has in store this next year. 

“This was my second year doing American Legion and I am so excited for my senior year,” said Kasim. “Oh my goodness, I can’t believe that’s real! I wouldn’t be able to do this without the help of my beloved teachers Dr. Jones and Ms. Gregory!” 

We wish Kasim well in the rest of her UIL season, that being related to her speech and debate season. We also wish her well in her next and final year being a part of the American Legion team where she will continue to compete in the event of original oratory.