By Natalie Fohl, Director of Youth Outreach, New York State Right to Life Committee
New York State Right to Life (NYSRTL) is proud to announce the winners of the 29th annual New York State Right to Life Educational Trust Oratory Contest. The contest was held at the College of St. Rose in Albany on Saturday, May 7 and featured six finalists representing NYSRTL affiliates from across the state. The participating high school juniors and seniors were invited to prepare and present a speech on bioethical issues including abortion, euthanasia, infanticide, and embryo-destructive stem cell research.
The first prize winner of the contest was Caitlin Kennedy of Suffolk County. Caitlin, a junior at St. Pius V School, placed first in Long Island Coalition for Life’s local competition. Caitlin eloquently illustrated the shocking lack of protection for unborn children in our nation by describing the intensive care given to help babies who are born prematurely while unborn children of the same age are legally and violently killed, often in the same hospital building. Caitlin urged her peers to work for the protection of the unborn by speaking on their behalf and working to elect pro-life legislators.
We are proud to have Caitlin represent New York State at the National Right to Life Jane B. Thompson Oratory Contest, which will take place at the National Right to Life Convention in Jacksonville, Florida, June 23-25
Caitlin’s first prize award included $1000, plus accommodations and travel expenses for herself and a chaperone to attend the national competition.
The second prize winner, Emily Petrillo, represented Westchester-Putnam Right to Life and received $500. Her speech deftly exposed the lies and euphemisms used by abortion advocates to justify taking the lives of innocent children.
Rebecca Carrubba, representing Schenectady County Right to Life, received the third place award of $200 and addressed how the growing number of treatments developed from ethical adult stem cells is making the politicized debate over unfruitful, embryo-destructive stem cell research obsolete.
We are encouraged and hopeful for the future because of the willingness of all of the contestants to use their voices, time, and talent to speak on behalf of the most vulnerable. Their compelling and articulate presentations demonstrated that each of them is already a leader in the fight for Life.
NYSRTL offers our heartfelt congratulations and gratitude to all of our state finalists: Rebecca Carrubba, Colleen Galvin (Rockland County Right to Life), Caitlin Kennedy, Dominik Maida (Broome County Right to Life), Emily Petrillo, and Madeline Wenner (Central NY Coalition for Life). We look forward to seeing a renewed world as these students continue to act on their convictions until each of their fellow human beings has the protection they deserve.