Students discuss ‘peace through service’

Students present their ideas on “peace through service” at the Rotary Club of Chester’s annual speech contest. Chester High School student Faith Syfrett (left) won first place, earning her a spot to compete against other Plumas and Lassen county students in March. Macayla Ayers from Plumas Charter School (middle) placed second, and Brittany Mattingly from CHS (right) placed third. Also pictured: Rotarian Joe Cumming. Photo by Cheri McIntire
Samantha P. Hawthorne

  High school students from three Lake Almanor area schools expressed their thoughts on “peace through service” during the Rotary Club of Chester’s annual speech contest Feb. 14.

  Two students from Chester High School and one each from Plumas Charter School and Lake Almanor Christian School presented their views on the subject matter.

  Out of those four, the top three students were awarded a cash prize depending on their placement.

  CHS student Brittany Mattingly and PCS student Macayla Ayers took second and third place, respectively.

  CHS student Faith Syfrett took first place with her speech on how her recent experience at the Rotary Youth Leadership Camp changed her view of peace.

  “(The camp) was an environment to learn to love yourself, trust yourself and believe in yourself,” said Syfrett. She explained that in order to be a “peace leader” she first had to have confidence in herself.

  According to her speech, she believes that peace is more than the act of obtaining world peace; instead, it is an individual act that anyone can achieve within his or her own environment.

  Her moving speech, which is printed on the “Where I Stand” column of this week’s newspaper, prompted the judges to award her first place. This entitles her to represent the Chester/Lake Almanor area at the Susanville Rotary speech contest in mid-March.

  Students from all over Plumas and Lassen counties will then compete for a spot in the May 5 Rotary district competition being held in Reno, Nev.

  According to event chairman Denis Gomez, students representing the Chester/Lake Almanor area moved on to the district contest five out of the last six years, but they have yet to win the Reno championship.

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