YouthSpeak Speech and Essay Contest

The 2020 YouthSpeak Contest is now OPEN! – Accepting Entries until Feb 13, 5pm

OC Human Relations’ annual YouthSpeak Speech & Essay Contest features a county-wide search for the top human relations speech and essay written by middle & high school students.


PLEASE NOTE: The Speech contest is only open to Orange County high school students while the Essay contest is only open to Orange County middle school students.

Please be sure to thoroughly read and write your speech or essay accordingly to the following prompt:

Prompt: What does justice mean to you? How can you achieve justice in your community/Orange County? How can you navigate/overcome barriers to justice?

Contest Rules:

  • The speech is to be between 300 and 400 words in length, must be the original work of the contestant, not have been used for another contest , and should be inspirational or motivational. 
  • The essay is to be 3-5 pages, 12-pt Times New Roman font, double-spaced, and 1-inch margins all around
  • Please print your speech or essay on separate sheets of paper and attach to the entry form (available below). DO NOT write your name, school or identifying information on your speech page.
  • The entry form and speech or essay must be submitted to OC Human Relations by: Thursday, February 13th, 2020 at 5:00PM
  • The top 3 speech finalists must deliver their speech on March 12, 2020 at the OC Human Relations’ YouthSpeak contest reception – winners will be notified post-event via phone call.
  • Winners of the essay contest will be notified in advanced and honored at OC Human Relations’ YouthSpeak contest reception on March 12th.


Please submit a completed and signed entry form with speech/essay (word doc only) via mail, email, or in person to: Marco Ortega at [email protected] by February 13th, 2020 at 5:00PM.

Download a PDF of the Contest Entry Form

For More Information:

Marco Ortega 714.480.6570 [email protected]


YouthSpeak is possible because of the generous support from Orange County’s Credit Union and former teacher Cassandra Weiner.

Click on the YouthSpeak links on the left to see the speeches of previous years’ winners.