Patriot HS Student Among Finalists for Prince William's DST 33rd annual Dr. MLK, Jr.  Youth Oratorical Competition

People can watch the competition live on YouTube and vote via text


 Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (PWCAC-DST), in affiliation with the Delta Research and Educational Foundation, will host its 33rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Youth Oratorical Competition and Program on Monday, January 16 at 11 a.m. on its YouTube channel - PWCAC-DST-MEDIA. This is a free virtual event.

This year’s theme, “A View of the Promised Land,” inspired Prince William area students in grades 6-12 to write and present their views on the life and impact of Dr. King’s legacy. 

The January 16 program will not only showcase six dynamic student orators from Prince William County and Manassas Park it will also feature the MLK Community Choir, students K-12. The audience will also have an opportunity to vote for their favorite middle school and high school orator using a special text-to-vote feature while watching the program.

The six finalists are: 

  • Shavonne Davis, Patriot High School
  • Alyssa M. Godfrey, Benton Middle School
  • Sakshi Gowda, Ronald Wilson Reagan Middle School
  • Myles Lanier, Manassas Park High School 
  • Kaomi Ninasaume, Gainesville Middle School
  • Brooklynn Saunders, Gar-Field High School

The 2023 Youth Oratorical Competition and Program marks the 38th year our chapter commemorates Dr. King’s life.  The chapter’s first event after being chartered in December 1984 was a program to honor Dr. King on his birthday.  “Beginning in 1985, before the national holiday, the first five years the program presented prominent local and national adult speakers. Then in 1991, the student oratorical competition became the program’s highlight,” shared PWCAC-DST Chapter President Sharon Andrews.  She also remarked that this transition made way for more community involvement and support.  “The chapter hosts the MLK program each year, but the support from the three local school systems, teachers, coaches, and principals, and the judges, sponsors, donors, and audience make the program possible year after year,” she said.    

In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday a National Day of Service— a “day on, not a day off.”  The King Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, addresses social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.” PWCAC-DST includes a “Day of Service” project and invites the local community to participate.

Following the 2023 MLK program premiere on YouTube, community members are encouraged to stop by 2701 Neabsco Commons Place, Suite 150 in Woodbridge, from 2 to 5 p.m. and donate “ready-to-eat” meals. Items such as applesauce or fruit cups, microwaveable mac and cheese bowls or heat-and-sip soups, granola or other snack bars, and other foods that require minimal or no preparation to eat and enjoy. All donations will be supplied to Northern Virginia Food Rescue. 

For more information on the oratorical program, fundraising efforts, and donation opportunities, visit, and remember to subscribe to the YouTube channel - PWCAC-DST-MEDIA to receive reminders about the program.  

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