Lions Student Speakers Club contest

Tracy Tank Town Lions Cub President Debbi Hopman (center) stands with West High student Hannah Jackson (from left) and Mountain House High students Aashril Shazar, Dhruva Kolikineni and Shania Dhanaraj after a speech contest Feb. 20 at Mountain House High School.

Dhruva Kolikineni, a 17-year-old senior at Mountain House High School, has taken the first step toward winning scholarships for college by winning a local competition sponsored by the Tracy Tank Town Lions Club.

Four contestants from West and Mountain House high schools spoke on the topic “Homelessness in California: What is the Solution?” as part of the annual California Lions Student Speakers Club Contest on Jan. 20 at Mountain House High School.

A panel of five judges selected Kolikineni’s speech based on originality, use of evidence, conclusion, emphasis, voice control, enunciation, pronunciation, sincerity, enthusiasm, poise, cohesive effort, logic, organization, persuasiveness and adherence to the topic.

The other contestants were Hannah Jackson from West High and Shania Dhanaraj and Aashril Shazar from Mountain House High. They were coached by Shauna Baker from West and Mikendra McCoy from Mountain House.

Debbi Hopman, the club president, said she was impressed by the students’ expression and creativity.

“It is obvious that these young people have strong ideas about current events. I’m so proud that we were able to provide them with the opportunity to share their views and skill.”

Kolikineni will advance to the zone level competition March 5 at Ripon’s American Legion Hall. From there, the competition continues at the regional, district, area and then final levels.

If you have news for Accolades, send it to or drop off a note at the Tracy Press, 95 W. 11th St., Ste. 101.

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