Home >> News >> Schools >> Gilchrist County’s Audrey Thomas wins 1st Place Able Trust Award

Gilchrist County’s Audrey Thomas wins 1st Place Able Trust Award

The Able Trust announced the winners of its 2019 Annual Jeannie Amendola Speech & Research Competition at its state finals that took place in Orlando. This year’s winners are: First Place: Audrey Thomas, 10th Grader, Gilchrist County High School High Tech Program. Second Place: Zeige McCrutcheon, 12th Grader, Duval County High School High Tech. Third Place: Liam Avelino, 11th Grader, Orange County High School High Tech. Fourth Place: Marnel Jean, 12th Grader, Miami-Dade County High School High Tech.
Students with disabilities from The Able Trust’s High School High Tech Program (HTST) competed today at the state finals after winning their respective regional contests in April and June 2019. The goals of the Jeannie Amendola Speech & Research Competition are to develop research, public speaking, and communication skills of HSHT students. These skills are critical to successful employment and career growth. The Able Trust has been operating the HSHT program for 20 years and now has 43 programs in 40 counties statewide.
“The Able Trust is very proud of all the hard work our High School High Tech students put into their research and presentations, and we congratulate all the contestants,” said Dr. Susanne Homant, President and CEO of The Able Trust. “We created the Jeannie Amendola Speech & Research Competition to give students with disabilities the opportunity to improve their presentation and research skills, critical skills that will benefit them as they define their respective career paths.”
“All of the students participating in our Annual Jeannie Amendola Speech & Research Competition did an exceptional job, which made selecting a winner from our four finalists very difficult,” said Karen Moore, chair of The Able Trust Board of Directors. “We are truly honored to name Audrey as our winner of the 2019 state finals, and we are excited as we look ahead to next year’s competition as we know we will have many more excellent participants.”
As part of the competition, competitors had to compare and contrast post-secondary education options and identify the path best suited for them. Competitors were evaluated based on an eight-point scoring rubric that focuses on three main tenets – 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.

Leave a Reply