UCS Students Excel in Jumping on the 'Soapbox' to Participate in the Political Discussion

The Soapbox Speech Challenge is a statewide event featuring secondary students who have written and delivered their own politically-themed speeches. It’s a part of the national Mikva Challenge, which encourages and teaches students to become more politically involved in their communities.


The UCS students who participated delivered their speeches to a panel consisting of state representatives, retired teachers, community organizers, and judges in addition to Congressman Andy Levin and former Congressman David Bonior. Eight Grader Jaeden Lareau’s speech was about bullying language while classmate Olivia Sitto’s speech focused on immigrants and the citizenship test. Their speeches were selected to be among the best in the state. Their teacher Nate Domke, was extremely proud of these future leaders. “These students have taken the important first step of becoming an active citizen in our system of government by making their voices heard,” said Domke. “Democracy is definitely a verb!”

Stevenson was represented by 12 students with Mary Kate Pardington, Sneha Mranghattil and Andrew Lucas reaching the finals. The students were led by Stevenson AP Government and Politics Teacher, Heather Chase.


Soapbox Nation invites schools around the country to engage youth in discussing what they believe are the most important issues facing society today. The goal is a two-minute speech that presents young people with the opportunity to connect with a cause they care about and persuade an audience to understand, care, act, vote, or speak out on an issue that affects their community.


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Utica Education Association (UEA) is a group of professional educators serving our community in southeastern Michigan. You can follow along for more information at our Facebook page at http://www.facebookcom/UticaEducationAssociation