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Going into my freshman year at Elk River, I never thought that I would leave as a four year member of Elk Speech--but I am SO glad I did. Through speech I not only learned how to speak eloquently and with passion, but to use my voice in our polarized society. Being a part of the Elk Speech team gave me writing and analytical skills I never would have if I didn't join, and taught me how to take and give constructive criticism. I found a love and excitement for rhetoric, which helped me decide what classes to take in college! I found the BEST group of people to spend four years and travel with, all while learning the power of my words and what ten minutes can really do. I found my passion and reason for being, I learned how much words can impact the world and gained the skills to do so. I was taught how to be humble in winning but also learned grace in defeat. But most of all, I learned that Words matter. Voices matter. Every single one. :'-)

-Tia Lerud, ERHS Class of '18

Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN

(Great Speeches, Original Oratory, and POI)

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Help us develop our alumni network to profile Elk Speech alumni, illustrate how Elk Speech can have an impact in life, and stay connected for fun opportunities like mentoring our speech students and judging at local tournaments.  


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