On behalf of the Youth Services Committee, Lachmi Khemlani introduced our annual program to select a representative for Cupertino Rotary and this year’s Richard D. King Annual Youth Speech Contest.
 
The contest invites all of Cupertino high school’s to participate.  Contestants present speeches focused on this year's Rotary International theme - Rotary Connects the World.
 
Only Monta Vista High School participated in the program this year.  Lachmi introduced Kai Xiao a Monta Vista High School junior.  He is active in speech and debate and the arts at Monta Vista.
 
As Cupertino’s representative he will next move on to the Region 8 competition at the Los Gatos Morning Club on February 26.
 
Kai gave an excellent speech extolling the importance of communal strength – the strength that comes from contributing our individual skills and working together to address community needs.  
 
He said that “all too often nowadays we look to individuals, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., or Malala Yousafzai, and others who inspire great change without recognizing that true change is caused by the people that rally behind them and brought their own experiences, beliefs, strengths and perspectives to the table.”
 
“More than 100 years ago before social media hashtags, and the internet made it easy to contribute to a movement or campaign, Rotary Club International founder Paul Harris understood this. 
 
Harris understood that he could bring together compatriots of different backgrounds, ideologies and beliefs. And together they can fight for something greater than themselves.” 
 
“We can see this in what Rotary does today, whether it's providing clean drinking water to cities in Africa, providing polio immunization, or here at a national level, where Rotary has worked to provide reading level reading assistance to help students better succeed…
 
We succeed in service when we bring together our unique backgrounds. perspectives and strength.”