By Connor Sharp

On Saturday, October 14, 2017 cadets Amy Lu, 12, Rajai Barnes, 11, and Rama Ratl Mrad, 9, of Martin Luther King High School’s (King) Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) program competed in the annual NJROTC Soundoff Competition at Paloma High School.

At 7:20 AM, King NJROTC cadets joined La Habra High School, Ramona High School, and others for the competition which was held at Paloma Valley High School in room G103. A total of 26 cadets presented, each one having to give a 4-5 minute speech about confidence, hard work and self mastery. Cadets are given this topic several days in advance in order to allow time necessary needed to write a five paragraph speech and practice orally. The judge for the event is a professional public speaker who grades them on clarity, volume, confidence, diction and posture. At the end of the day, the overall rankings for King’s Cadets ended with Barnes in 1st place, Ratl-Mrad in 6th place, and Lu in 10th.

When asked about what it was like to compete in public speaking Lu said, “Right before I went up to speak I was super nervous, but when I did, it all disappeared and I found it easy to speak. It also helps that this was my second time competing.” Barnes who got first place overall competed for his first time this year. “I was a little jittery at first but after the first few seconds I kind of got into a rhythm. I’ve done public speaking a few times before so it wasn’t out of the ordinary for me.” Overall the competition went well with our cadets doing great job.

King High School is always proud of the NJROTC program and the accolades they continue to bring home year after year from various competitions. Congratulations to the cadets for their success and for showing other schools why we are “King.”