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Norton High School senior wins first place at youth speech competition semifinals

Caroline Daly, a Norton High School junior, took home first place at the MA Lions Association Youth Speech Competition State Semifinals on Jan. 11. With first place Daly will move onto the final round, the State Championship.

The Youth Speech Competition is open to all students who reside within or attend any school located within MA, in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12, provided they are sponsored by a Massachusetts Lions, Lioness, or Leo Club. It is held in stages: school or club, zone, regional, district, and state. As each stage goes on, the competition gets harder and the speakers are allowed less aides. In the early rounds, the speakers are able to read their speech from a manuscript, but by the State Semifinals, they are only allowed to use one 3x5 index card.

Each year the competition has a designated topic and this year it was: 'What is Heroism?' Past topics have been, 'Being Politically Correct: Is it taken too far?' 'Volunteerism: What does it mean to you?' and 'Integrity: What Does It Look Like?'

Daly has competed in the Lions Club Youth Speech Competition every year of her high school career and has earned an estimated $4,300 so far. As a freshman she made it all the way to the regional level and during her sophomore and junior years she qualified for the State Championship level. Last year Daly made it all the way to the State Championship and placed as runner-up. This year, the final round of the competition will take place in April in Mansfield.