Sierra, who also competed at the local level in February, was the only zone-level competitor. Lions zone chairman James Ainslie of Gustine said other Lions Clubs in the zone, such as Newman and Gustine, did not have competitors this year.
Sierra spoke about the topic, “Water — Will California Be Left High and Dry?”
The 18-year-old Sierra, the daughter of Carl and Cynthia Sierra, won $50 at the local level and $75 at zone.
Sierra said even though she was the only one in the zone contest, she was able to work on her speech during the month between competitions to make it better.
“Basically, I worked on the whole speech and made it stronger — I have more information on the Delta water supply,” Sierra said. “Whether there were other competitors or not, I think this is a really good experience to talk in front of a group of people. It helps me be more confident.”
Her mother, Cindy Sierra, said the Lions Club invites her whole family when Cassie competes.
“Cassie has had an awesome experience with the Lions Club student speaker contest,” Cindy Sierra said. “She actually was thinking of a field in speech — so this is giving her a wide range of experience in public speaking.”
After Sierra graduates from Patterson High, she wants to attend California State University, Fresno, and study speech pathology.
Lions student speeches are judged on effectiveness as a whole, delivery and text. Judges for zone were from the Lions Clubs in Newman and Gustine.
Sierra will compete at the regional level at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the second-floor boardroom of the Stanislaus County Office of Education, 1100 H St., in Modesto.
There will be three competitors in the contest. The winner will get $125 and can go on to the district level, where the winner gets $4,500, and to the state level, where the winner brings home $10,000.