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The calm within the storm

Seventh grader Gigi Pacheco captured first place for her impromptu speech “During the Storm” at the 2014 Trophy Speech Meet hosted by the Denver Archdiocese.

By JulieAnna Reinhardt; photo courtesy of Monica Pacheco

It’s all in the way you say it. That’s the winning strategy for Castle Pines resident Gigi Pacheco. Pacheco is a seventh grade student at St. Thomas More Middle School, and the overall winner in the 2014 Trophy Speech Meet hosted by the Denver Archdiocese, in the seventh grade category of impromptu.

Twenty-four students started the impromptu round, and only seven students progressed to the third and final round (the category thought to be the hardest of the competition). Thirteen-year-old Gigi Pacheco won the overall high score with her impromptu speech from the phrase “During the Storm.”

Pacheco’s speech only lasted a few minutes, but it was given with great expression and presence. Her account of her personal fears during a thunderstorm and her faith won over the judges. Her speech was in the first person, and she told the story of waking in the night to a storm, her fear and trepidation, and ultimately how her faith and prayer calmed her and gave her peace.

Leading up to the competition, Pacheco said she practiced two times a week with a speech coach, and spent many nights at home practicing with her family. When asked why she loved speech so much she said, “I learn something important and apply that everyday, because speech is very important.”

What’s next for this young lady? Speech next year for sure, with aspirations of defending her win at next year’s meet. And on top of that, Pacheco will be starting her eighth grade year as the captain of the Academic Decathlon Team!



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