December 8, 2020 -- Columbus Alternative High School (CAHS) Sophomore Kevin Houston has been selected as the Columbus City Schools (CCS) Student Speaker for the 36th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Breakfast. The annual event will take place virtually, due to the ongoing pandemic, on January 18, 2021.
Houston is one of 25 CCS students in grades 6-12 to compete in the District-wide contest to be the student speaker. A District selection committee required student participants to write and record a three-minute speech on the theme "Now is the Time." Kevin's admiration for Dr. Martin Luther King stems from his mature awareness of Dr. King's legacy. Kevin recognizes that Dr. King has paved the way for African-American people to live freely in society.
"King started a fight, and it's the job of our new generation to finish it," said Kevin Houston, CCS Student Speaker, 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast.
"The MLK Breakfast Speaker Contest provides our students with a real-world opportunity to practice the Essential ELA Disciplines: reading, writing, and speaking," said Carla Mae Phillips, Secondary English Curriculum Coordinator. "The students read speeches and research articles to garner ideas for their speech, compose a well-organized speech that has a clear claim and evidential supports, and deliver a speech using on-grade-level language with aplomb. It is a chance for our students to shine!"
In the two short-years that Houston has attended CAHS, he has established himself as a leader among his peers. He's always looking for ways to excel in his learning through rigorous coursework, Advanced Placement courses, and the Ohio State Youth Leadership Academy's participation. Houston currently holds a 4.16-grade point average. Even during a pandemic, Kevin is on his way to achieving scholar-athlete status, playing golf and basketball for his home school, Mifflin High School.
"We are very, very, proud of him. He is a stellar young man," said Principal Darryl Sanders, Columbus Alternative High School.
Houstons’ plans include pursuing a sports management or a political science degree at The Ohio State University or Stanford University. Houston aspires to be an athletic director for a D1 college or university.
The selection committee judges also chose a runner-up student speaker. This year, that was Dominion Middle School 7th grader Elena Early.
The Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday Breakfast is the largest event of its kind in the United States, honoring the slain civil rights leader.