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Teens to practice public speaking skills while competing for cash prizes on MLK Day

The event will be Saturday morning at Austin-East Magnet High School with the theme "educated, melanated, and highly sophisticated."

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — As Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaches, groups and organizations are preparing to celebrate with all kinds of events. One of them will be held at Austin-East Magnet High School Saturday morning.

During the event, teens will have a chance to practice their public speaking skills while competing for cash prizes. Groups will be divided into two divisions based on age, and the first-place winners of each will receive $250. Other cash prizes will be available for second and third-place winners.

Participants will have between 3 and 5 minutes to give a speech relating to the event's theme: "educated, melanated, and highly sophisticated."

Division I will include participants between 13 and 15 years old, while Division II will include participants between 16 and 19 years old. They will need to state the topic at the beginning of their speech, and a group of judges will score their performance.

Participants will be evaluated based on personal qualities like appearance, poise, personality and attitude along with the content of their speech, such as its logical flow. 

The event starts at 9:30 a.m. in Austin-East Magnet High School. The competition is a result of a partnership between the MLK Jr. Commemorative Commission and the Knoxville Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc.