Stephenson County Youth Nominated for State Public Speaking Contest

Three Stephenson County 4-H youth were nominated on Tuesday, April 20, to compete in the Illinois 4-H State Public Speaking Contest. Their quest to compete at the State Contest started back in January when the youth attended a Farm Bureau training for public speaking.

The Tuesday evening contest held at the Highland Community College in Freeport was open to all 4-H youth. The six categories included: Formal Speech, Illustrated Speech, Original Works, Oral Interpretation, Food Demonstration and General Demonstration. 4-H members ages 8 to 18 were able to compete in the evening’s contest.

“The public speaking contest helps prepare youth by building essential life skills such as boosting their confidence, improving communication skills, and expanding their social and career advancements,” explains Stephenson County 4-H Coordinator Brenda Heimann.

Michelle Marck of Freeport Fantastics 4-H Club was named the Champion for Oral Interpretation- Ages 14 and older. Marck recited “One Special Brother” by Ken Bradbury, a monologue explaining how words matter within a family where a sibling has down syndrome.

Nathaniel Stache of Davis Rockets received the Champion in Formal Speech – Ages 13 and under. His informative speech was centered around one of his passions: farming.

Rowan Stache, also of Davis Rockets, received Reserve in Formal Speech – Ages 13 and under. Harry Potter and everything you could ever know about the best seller series written by J.K. Rowling was the theme for Rowan’s speech.

Each member was presented with a beautiful leather portfolio donated by the Stephenson County Farm Bureau. They also have the opportunity to compete at the Illinois 4-H State Public Speaking Contest on June 5, in Decatur, Illinois.

“They all put a lot of time, thought and effort into their speeches,” states Heimann. “We’re very proud of them and wish them the best of luck in the state competition.”

For more information on University of Illinois Extension 4-H and Youth Development in Stephenson County, contact Brenda Heimann at 815-235-4125 or by email at

Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in program and employment. If you need reasonable accommodation to participate in programming, contact the program coordinator. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your needs.

three youth with ribbons and certificates
Stephenson County 4-H Youth nominated to compete in the Illinois 4-H State Contest are from left Rowan Stache, Nathaniel Stache and Michelle Marck with their awards.