By Dave Andrusko
Lauren Hayden, a staunchly pro-life 17-year-old homeschooler, will be Arkansas representative to National Right to Life’s Jane B. Thompson Oratory Contest at the NRLC convention in Florida in June. Arkansas Right to Life has sponsored an Oratory Contest since 1993 when Katie Beebe, its state winner, won the National Oratory Contest in St. Louis.
“The contest is a wonderful opportunity for high school juniors and seniors to research and articulate their pro-life beliefs and have a chance to compete with other future pro-life leaders,” said Rose Mimms, executive director of Arkansas Right to Life. “The national convention strengthens their beliefs with current, factual pro-life information and tools to teach their peers about pro-life issues.”
Lauren’s speech was intensely personal. Her mother was advised to have an abortion because of a difficult pregnancy, but her child was born healthy at 20 weeks. Lauren was that child!
Lauren enjoys playing the piano and Irish step dancing, Mimms said. When she graduates from high school, Lauren hopes to study ASL-English interpretation and deaf education. She says her goal in life “is to glorify God in whatever she does.”
The winner of Arkansas RTL’s Oratory Contest is doubly blessed. Not only do they get to compete at the national level, ARTL pays the extra expenses for the winner to attend all of the convention, not just the day of the Oratory Contest.
“The educational experience is priceless,” Mimms said. “The friends they make at the Youth Convention share their desire to protect innocent life.”
“There is no better place than the National Right to Life Convention to get the tools and the resources that they will need to lead us into a pro-life future,” Mimms concluded, “because without pro-life young people we have no future.”