Young Scholar Wins Churchill Museum Competition

Current Young Scholar Kristine Cho recently won first place in the inaugural Winston Churchill Museum speech competition.

Each year the museum, located at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, asks contestants to describe how a Churchill quote relates to them personally as well as to today’s society. The four- to-five minute speeches are scored on the content of the speech, delivery and presentation, and overall effectiveness. The contest is open to middle school students. The quote for the 2013-2014 competition was “never confuse leadership with popularity.”

Kristine Cho, second from the left

In her speech, Kristine described the necessity of sacrificing popularity in the name of strong leadership. She talked about Abraham Lincoln and how—despite the fact that today he is ranked the most popular president in American history—at the time of his decision to sign the Emancipation Proclamation, he “put aside trying to appeal to the masses as his persistence and determination as a leader to do what was right trumped the fact that he was an unpopular leader. He chose to align his goals with the values of equality and freedom—making him an admirable leader.”

Kristine drew inspiration from her personal life as well. She pointed out how popularity is often the driving force in student government elections and how “popularity can reflect the exact opposite of what is expected of a good leader” in teens of today.

Finally, Kristine analyzed the pitfalls of popularity in today’s technology-driven and celebrity-obsessed society. She concluded by saying, “Now therefore, in the 21st century, more than ever we need leaders who can envision the future, stay true to their ethics, and know to lead for not just the majority but for everyone instead of pursuing popularity.”

Kristine was awarded an engraved plaque and a museum t-shirt, and was invited to speak at the annual Churchill Weekend Kemper Brunch.

Well done, Kristine!

Listen to Kristine’s full speech starting at minute 10:53 in the video below.