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Student Speaker Contest


The Student Speaker Topic for 2021-2022 is:


“How Can Kindness Reunite Our Country?”

The Student Speakers Foundation was organized in 1960. Its father is Don Snyder, District Governor of 4-A3, 1958-59. He asked Past International President Fred Smith and then International Director Dwight Stanford to join him as the organizers and first directors of the Foundation. Don did all the work getting IRS and California taxing authorities approval. He is now a lifetime, honorary Director of the Foundation, as is Dwight Stanford.

The Foundation's first cash came from the profits of the Lions Goods Store at the next California Lions convention. District Governor Al Mendel of Apple Valley, 1961-62, ran the store and suggested the gift. The first few years of the Foundation were a bit thorny. It was hard for the organization to collect money when it had very little prestige. Gradually the situation changed and the Foundation began to supplement the prizes which heretofore had been paid for entirely out of the California Lions budget. Foundation funds come entirely from voluntary donations and income from the accumulated assets.

Past International President Fred Smith was the first president of the Foundation, followed by Past International Directors Dwight Stanford and Robert E. Anderson. Past District Governors Seeley J. Kondris and George "Jake" Jacobssen served between 1994 and 2002. The current president is Past District Governor Gordon Wellman.

Awards for this year contest:

  • Club Winner $ 75.00 and $ 25.00 to each finalist.

  • Zone winner $ 100.00

  • Region Winner $ 150.00

  • District Winner $ 4,500 Scholarship

  • Area contest $ 6,500 Scholarship

  • California State winner $ 10,000 Scholarship.


Contest dates:

Student Speaker Contest Completion Dates

  • Club Contest by February 21, 2022 

  • Zone Contest by March 21, 2022       

  • Region Contest by April 2, 2022        

  • District Contest on April 9, 2022

  • Area Contest by May 23, 2022

  • State Final Contest  on June 11, 2022 in San Jose, Ca @ Council of Governors

Each year, the district chairmen are invited to attend the August council of governors meeting to participate in the selection of the contest topic for the year. In addition, the California Lions committee reviews all of the materials used for the contests and welcomes suggestions from the district chairmen as to any revisions that should be made.