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Gary’s young voices

The participants annual IU Dons Speech CompetitiGary (Ind.) AreCareer Center Oct. 18 2012.  |  Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

The participants in the annual IU Dons Speech Competition at the Gary (Ind.) Area Career Center on Oct. 18, 2012. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

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The top three finishers the IU Dons Speech Competition.

First — Vincent Banks, 17, Wirt-Emerson Visual and Performing Arts Academy

Second — David L. King Jr., 18, West Side Leadership Academy

Third — James L. Wells, 18, Wirt-Emerson

Updated: December 1, 2012 6:07AM



It was a tough decision, but, in the end, it was all about body language for Wirt-Emerson Visual and Performing Arts Academy senior Vincent Banks, 17 who won the annual IU Dons Speech Competition recently at the Gary Area Career Center.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors from West Side, Wallace and Wirt-Emerson academies and New Tech were invited to compete. Banks won $200 and the coveted role to speak at the 43rd annual IU Dons Educational Banquet.

The topic for the competition was “Education: A Weapon for Peace.” Banks said he focused on his body language after watching a History Channel documentary on the subject the night before the IU Dons event.

“Once I watched that, I made it my main concentration,” said Banks, adding he was surprised to place first over runner-up David L. King Jr. of West Side, who won $100.

James L. Wells, a Wirt-Emerson senior, was third and won $75.

“I know David, and he is an excellent speaker,” Banks said. “When he read his speech, he sounded like a leader — a preacher at the pulpit. He has a very powerful voice. I am happy to be in the company of David and James.”

King said he was happy to place second and praised Banks.

“Vincent is a drama major, and it showed in his ability to deliver his speech,” King said. “He deserved first place.”

Wells said he, too, was proud of King and Banks, and encouraged other students to enter the IU Dons event.

“I feel students should take every opportunity to enter the competition next year and apply for scholarships,” Wells said. “Whatever it takes to win money to find a way to go to college.”

IU Dons vice president Dwight E. Pointer said this competition and the students who participate are proof that positive activities occur in the Gary schools.

“We have great and intelligent students in the city, and people need to know this,” Pointer said.



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