North Rose student wins public speaking contest


The Roosevelt School at Long Island University, in partnership with the Theodore Roosevelt Association, announced the winners of this year’s Theodore Roosevelt Public Speaking Contest. 

Submissions from high school juniors and seniors across the nation were narrowed down to the top 10 finalists, who went on to compete in the virtual finals. The finalists delivered live presentations on “Why Theodore Roosevelt Matters in the 21st Century” to a panel of four judges via Zoom.

Abi Jo Wanek from North Rose-Wolcott High School took first place and received a $25,000 scholarship to LIU. 

Abi Jo Wanek wins a $25,000 scholarship to Long Island University after her presentation for the Theodore Roosevelt Public Speaking Contest.

“The leadership, poise and determination exhibited by Theodore Roosevelt taught us many lessons about American society that still ring true to this day,” said professor Tweed Roosevelt, chairman of the Theodore Roosevelt Institute and Roosevelt’s great-grandson. “The exemplary critical thinking and research skills demonstrated by these students shows the importance of applying history to the challenges we face today. They embody TR’s belief that inspiring young people to strive for greatness gives them the skills they need to succeed.”

The winning presentations, including Wanek’s, can be viewed at 

“All of the participants in the Theodore Roosevelt Public Speaking Contest should be proud that they challenged themselves to present their insight and creativity on a national stage,” LIU President Kimberly Cline said.