Central High Sophomore Wins Tulsa MLK Oratorical Contest

Thursday, January 17th 2013, 6:42 pm
By: News On 6

In the summer of 1963, thousands marched on Washington, D.C. and gathered to hear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. give his now iconic "I Have a Dream" speech.

Each year, Tulsa holds an oratorical competition, where students learn and present their renditions of Dr. King's words. This year's winner is Central High sophomore Aylin Reyes.

"I just love the way Dr. King used his own method, a very peaceful method, to try to move a nation forward," Reyes said.

1/15/2013 Related Story: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events Begin Friday In Tulsa

She said she started working on the speech last summer. It was difficult to memorize, but she loves the challenge.

"I'm known as the speech geek. I am the speech geek," Reyes said.

ONEOK has sponsored the oratorical contest every year since 1997, and there was standing room only for this year's program.

The concert choir from McLain High School sang a couple of songs to set the stage, but the day belonged to Aylin Reyes.

She said her favorite part is near the end of the speech: the stanzas that end, "let freedom ring."

First prize in the contest is $500, money she'll put toward her dream of someday studying drama at The Juilliard School, in New York.