Freshman Noah Barnes wins Voices of Change speech contest

31st January 2020

By Steven Krolak

(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)–Noah Barnes, a freshman from Sellersburg, Ind. majoring in chemistry, has won the 2020 Voices of Change speech contest, earning a scholarship valued at $250.

The subject of his speech was, “Procrastination Doesn’t Pay: The Benefits of Investing Early.”

Barnes urged listeners to consider the true costs of retirement, and shared expertise in compound interest and other financial mechanisms in persuading the audience that one is never too young to begin laying the foundation for peace of mind later in life.

Second place honors, and a $150 scholarship, went to Kelly Sutton, a freshman with an ambition to become a labor and delivery nurse.

The subject of her speech was “Decreasing Stress One Note At A Time,” inspired by her love of music.

Sutton made a case for playing music as a means of reducing stress.

Now in its eighth year, the Voices of Change speech contest features exemplary persuasive speeches from the top five representatives of 2019 public speaking classes, as selected by their classmates.

Voices of Change speech contest finalists (l-r): Grace Kaine, Kelly Sutton, Ysabel Fox, Noah Barnes, Tera Sigafoos.

Created to celebrate the vision and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., speech topics are varied, and reinforce King’s advocacy of change through civil dialogue, to hopefully compel the audience members to take personal action for the betterment of themselves and/or society.

That vision is alive for these enthusiastic speakers.

“Dr. King is inspiring to me because of his bravery in non-violently protesting against racial discrimination during a time where it was very common and even violently enforced by much of American society,” Barnes said.

For Sutton, King’s teachings are directly relevant in a caring profession such as nursing.

“Dr. King has taught me that it is so important to not judge a book by its cover but by the contents within,” Sutton said.

The complete results of this year’s contest are:

Noah D. Barnes Procrastination Doesn’t Pay: The Benefits of Investing Early $250
Kelly Sutton Decreasing Stress One Note At A Time $150
Ysabel Fox The Pollution Pandemic $100
Grace Kaine The Most Stoppable Epidemic $50
Tera Sigafoos Mandatory Voting: Use Your Vote $50

The Voices of Change speech contest is co-sponsored by the Department of Communication Studies and the Office of Campus Life.

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