William Zupp, 14, beat out several thousand students from across the country to compete at the the Optimist International’s World Competition, in which he delivered a speech by memory to a panel of judges.
The competition was Friday in St. Louis, where he was up against some of the best young orators in the world. Zupp placed in the top 10.
“I have a heart that never gives up,” he said in his speech.
Zupp will be attending Myers Park High School this upcoming fall. According to his speech, he enjoys doing math, and he loves playing basketball.
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He spoke in his speech about how his uncle Ryan, who has Down syndrome, has inspired him to always persevere. He also said he wants be a role model for his 5-year-old brother as he gets older.
The competition is sponsored by Optimist International and Saint Louis University, and requires students to give speeches on this year’s topic, “how my best brings out the best in others.”
Optimist International is organization that promotes helping young people succeed.
John Laurents, district oratorical contest chairman for Optimist International, said Zupp is an exceptional speaker, often beating his competitors by wide margins. Zupp’s success has earned him $7,500 in scholarship money.
Tyler Fleming: 704-358-5355, @tyler_fleming96