Hatboro-Horsham High School sophomore Ishita Date is the first district student to ever participate in the Rotary Club Four-Way Test Speech Contest for Southeastern Pennsylvania. As if that wasn’t achievement enough, she placed third in the last round of the contest—the regional competition. Before this, she ranked first in the club and district levels.
“I’m happy for the opportunity I had to share my ideas about bullying,” Ishita said. “All the speeches were excellent and covered important topics. I’m excited that I was able to make it so far.”
The Four-Way Test Speech Contest requires student participants to apply the Rotary International Club Four Way Test, which guides the thinking and actions for club members by asking four questions: is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Students must also suggest a solution to the issue they present.
“I think it’s wonderful that Ishita could go so far,” Hatboro-Horsham School Counselor Marcey Varano said. “We were all blown away by her eloquence during the speech competitions. We’re looking forward to her competing again in years to come.”
Ishita applied the test to the topic of bullying, which she said is something that has been important to her for a long time. She suggested that instead of blaming bullies, you should discuss with them the root of their problem. She believes that if a bully can identify their issue, whether it’s being the victim of bullying at home or another reason, they can work with their peers, teachers and administration to fix it.
“If you can find the cause, you can find the answer,” Ishita said. “Bullying is a problem that has affected some of my friends and it’s an issue in any school. I’m happy that I had this opportunity to share my message with the community.”
“The competition is about getting the youth engaged in our community service organization,” Horsham Rotary Clubs Contest Committee Coordinator and East Region Contest Committee Chair Pat Martin said. “Hearing these young adults deliver such incredible messages is amazing. The students who participate really get into this competition and care about the topics they speak about.”