Finalists Will Move on to Present at State Finals on June 21, 2019, in Orlando
By Kelsey Swithers
MIAMI, FLA. – Marnel Jean, of the Miami-Dade North High School High Tech Program, today won The Able Trust’s South Florida Regional of its Jeannie Amendola Speech & Research Competition. Marnel will move on to compete with the other regional winners in the state finals on June 21, 2019, in Orlando, Fla., and will be judged by The Able Trust Board of Directors.
Six students with disabilities from South Florida High School High Tech Programs, which The Able Trust has managed for more than two decades, competed at the regional competition. The Jeannie Amendola Speech & Research Competition was designed to help give students with disabilities the speaking and research skills that will help in their career paths and future professional growth.
“These students worked very hard on their presentations and we are so proud of their accomplishments,” said Dr. Susanne Homant, president and CEO of The Able Trust. “The competition is designed to address the development of critical communications skills among high school students with disabilities, to develop speaking skills, and to understand the need to research their presentations to support their opinions with facts.”
“We congratulate our finalists and look forward to seeing them present in Orlando at the state finals in June,” concluded Dr. Homant.
As part of the regional contests, competitors had to compare and contrast post-secondary education options using research, evidence, and references to back up their analysis and conclusions. Competitors were evaluated based on an eight-point scoring rubric that focuses on three main tenants – oral communication, research and non-verbal communication.
The Able Trust’s Speech & Research Competition was named the Jeannie Amendola Speech & Research Competition in honor of Jeannie Amendola, who passed away on December 28, 2017. Jeannie, a longtime Disney employee, was a passionate advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities. She served as a leader with CastABLE, the Disney diversity resource group that promotes respect, equality, and appreciation of people with disabilities through awareness, education, and inclusion. Amendola also served on the Board of The Able Trust for 12 years and as an Ambassador for The Able Trust until she passed away.