Lopez student awarded $500 Leadership Grant

lopez middle school At the end of the school year Lopez Middle School announced that sixth grader, Santiago Ochoa Tovar, has been awarded a $500 leadership grant from the FranklinCovey Education Division for his video submission in the annual 2018 Leader in Me International Student Speech Contest. The winners were announced back in May and the school held an official ceremony in June.

Students attending licensed Leader in Me Schools (K–12) were encouraged to enter the 2018 Leader in Me International Student Speech Contest by submitting a two-minute video featuring either a traditional or a creative nontraditional speech. In the speech, students were to address their graduating class on a topic that was important to them. One or more students could be featured in the video, and students could receive help from parents or at school, but students were to do the majority of the work in creating the videos.

As speaking in public is a great leadership skill, Leader in Me Schools throughout the world develop their students with opportunities to speak at leadership events, symposia, assemblies, and in the classroom. The contest provided students with the opportunity to continue to improve their public-speaking skills.    

Nearly 500 speeches were submitted by students throughout the world, including the U.S., Canada, Guatemala, Brazil, Malaysia, Thailand, Russia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, and the U.K. Two speeches from four age categories were selected by a panel of judges from the FranklinCovey Education Division using a judging rubric and criteria based upon the message and delivery of the speech.

Santiago, who submitted one of the winning speeches, captured the hearts and minds of the judges.


“Every year, we receive speech submissions that are of such high quality, and this year is no exception,” said Sean Covey, President, FranklinCovey Education. “It’s very difficult for our panel of judges to select nine winners, because there are so many engaging speeches submitted. We congratulate all the students who entered the contest, as they are all leaders, and we honor the winners and commend them for their extraordinary work and efforts on their speeches. These students understand and practice the life skills they are learning in the Leader in Me process every day. We hope the contest was a positive experience for students and that it will help them to further grow and make tremendous contributions in their schools, families, and communities.”

The $500 grant was awarded to students to help them make a difference as leaders by demonstrating leadership in action at home, at school, or in the community. Students submitted their plans for what they would do with the grant, but suggestions for use included:

The grand prize winners and finalists will have their videos and topics on leadership featured on the Leader in Me Blog, as well as on Leader in Me social-media outlets.

Pictured: Principal Eric Wernli congratulates Santiago on his fantastic achievement.