speech contest

Julia C. Black Memorial Speech Contest and Scholarship Announced

Daniel CooperEducation, Scholarship

Florida Citrus Mutual has announced its inaugural Julia C. Black Memorial Speech Contest and Scholarship. Its intent is to encourage students to learn more about Florida’s agriculture industry, specifically Florida citrus, and to support high school students with scholarship funds. The application deadline for students in grades 9–12 is Dec. 30, 2023.

speech contest
Larry, Julia and Jenny Black

The speech contest will include two phases: district and state. District competition will be based on Florida Citrus Mutual’s board of directors districts. Seven district competitions will be held throughout the state in January 2024. Dates and locations will be announced later. District winners will go on to compete at the state competition the week of March 18, 2024 in Bartow.

The winner of the state competition must be able to present his or her winning speech at the Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference on June 13, 2024, at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs. Accommodations will be provided for the winner and his or her family.

More information is available from Melanie Burns, Florida Citrus Mutual’s director of market information, at 863-682-1116 or melanieb@flcitrusmutual.com.

The contest and scholarship are named in honor of the late Julia Christine Black, daughter of long-time Florida Citrus Mutual members Larry and Jenny Black. Julia died in October 2023 at the age of 16 after a sudden cardiac arrest caused by a pericardial infection.

Julia grew up in the Florida citrus industry and attended the Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference with her family almost every summer.

She was an honor student, a member of the varsity volleyball team at Lakeland High School and a member of the orchestra and lead oboist at the Harrison School for the Arts. She was involved in many clubs and activities and actively volunteered in her community.

Source: Florida Citrus Mutual

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