Open Letter to High School Seniors 

Are you a Temecula or Murrieta area high school senior who can speak well and has a powerful, personal Can-Do story to tell?  You are eligible to apply!  Deadline is February 8, 2013.
Annually, a senior is selected to receive a $500 college scholarship for narrating a compelling, true, personal story of individual initiative at our Annual Can-Do Day Celebration.  The 2013 event is Saturday, March 2, starting 4 p.m., at the Community Recreation Center in Ronald Reagan Sports Park.  The winner also will receive a Medallion of Initiative.
On this occasion, we honor the Can-Do spirit of those community members who built the sports park, as well as the fact that their efforts were recognized and applauded by President Ronald Reagan for their “typical American spirit.”
The 2012 winner was Emily Conely of Great Oak High School, who refused to accept limitations imposed on her by others and excelled in the process.
In 2011, Nancy Matti, a refugee from Iraq, told us how she, at age 5, and her family, left her native Iraq by foot to escape religious persecution, and after years of effort, arrived in the United States and was given asylum.
The year before, Justin Markowitz, who won a number of awards for his musical compositions, played two of them on the keyboard, and explained the challenges even gifted people face.
In 2009, Paige Lewis of Chaparral High School, won her Medallion of Initiative for her touching story of being inspired by her brother’s positive attitude in the face of his multiple medical challenges.  She was the first winner to also receive a $500.00 scholarship.
In March 2008, Nikolas Nunez told the audience how he had been inspired by his grandfather’s determination to flee Castro’s Cuba, after having his business confiscated and having to live in a prison camp for three years.  Nikolas also performed “Malaguena” on the keyboard, and noted that the composer also fled from Communist Cuba.
The year before that, Joseph Lambert shared his experience of being unable to read until the age of 10, and then described what it was like to work hard to catch up.  He spoke of his dream to be a cadet at West Point, and the path he was taking to get there, encouraging all in the audience to persevere.  He has since  graduated from West Point!
All are inspiring stories, and since we are celebrating our community’s Can-Do spirit, we would like to continue this tradition.  If you are a young person with a story to tell about the importance of individual initiative, please enter this competition.
​We ask each candidate to submit a speech in writing, including name of entrant, contact phone number, and school in the heading at the top of the first page.  From these submissions, we will select students for interviews.  Final selection will be determined by a trial presentation of the speech, which must be 3 to 5 minutes in length.  We will work with the winner to help polish the presentation for delivery on Can-Do Day.
All entries should be e-mailed to by no later than​
February 8.
Finalists will be interviewed about their speech.  The candidate we seek will be an inspiration to others, as he or she delivers the speech to our audience on Can-Do Day, March 2, 2013.  At the Celebration, we will present this individual with a $500 scholarship check and a Medallion of Initiative from Friends of Ronald Reagan Sports Park.
We have asked principals of private and public high schools in Temecula and Murrieta to help us find a winner.  Please let us know at your earliest convenience if you would like to submit your personal story.
Please call me at (951) 394-1963, for more information about the competition or our organization.​​