Letsie Wins ‘You Have A Voice!’ Humanities Speech Contest

Article by: Jan Dona, L&C Media Services,

GODFREY – Five student competitors took the stage in the Ann Whitney Olin Theatre at Lewis and Clark Community College’s Hatheway Cultural Center March 19 for the annual “You Have A Voice!” Humanities Speech competition, sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.  

First place went to sophomore Senate Letsie, a native of Lesotho, who delivered a speech entitled “Ubuntu.” The term describes the humanity people share with one another and is loosely translated as “I am because we are.”

Letsie was humbled by the win.

“It was an honor just to be part of this competition,” Letsie said. “My speech was inspired by the people I met in St. Louis during the Honors College staycation.” 

Letsie’s first-place finish earned her $100 and an invitation to the Honors Banquet, coming up on April 26.

Second place and a $75 prize went to Gail Harper, with third place and $50 going to Zak Kimble. Other participants were Zach Benware and Anthony Ellison.

The event was hosted by Speech Professor Elizabeth Grant.

“We were excited with the quality of our contestants again this year,” Grant said. “Their speeches hit on a variety of things that humans wrestle with.”

Judging this year’s competition were Alex St. Peters, of the Riverbend Growth Association; Debby Edelman, of the Lewis and Clark Foundation; Dean of Transfer Programs Jill Lane and Vanessa Perkinson, co-president of Phi Theta Kappa. 

For more information on Phi Theta Kappa or the L&C Speech Department, contact Professor Elizabeth Grant at