The Fernandina Beach Rotary Club was recently honored to host one of the six regional competitions for the 2015 Rotary Oratory Competition. Three seniors from area high schools – Emily Candelario-Reyes from First Coast High, Jolene Stubbings of West Nassau High and Jeremy Fischer from Fernandina Beach High – presented five-minute orations on the topic “What is financial literacy and how will it help everyone personally and their understanding of business, government and world affairs.” Each competitor developed their own speech on the subject, bolstered with supporting facts and personal observations. Fernandina Beach Rotary Club members scored the students on delivery, pacing, content and organization, whether the speech had a purpose or theme, enthusiasm of delivery and how well their presentations engaged the audience. The three competitors wowed club members and the crowd of family members and supporters with their preparation, poise and elocution. At the conclusion of the speeches, scores were tabulated and West Nassau High School senior Jolene Stubbings was declared the winner. Stubbings will receive a $500 scholarship. Stubbings then advanceed to the finals held at the University of North Florida on February 12 where won the $4,000 first-place scholarship!

The Rotary Oratory Competition – a project of the Rotary Club of South Jacksonville – was expanded this year to include 46 high schools throughout Northeast Florida. The event is sponsored by 121 Financial Credit Union and the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute.