county news online
Standing Left to Right:  Don Villar - WLS-TV Chicago, Leo-Herrera Lim - Phil.
Consul General, Elizabeth Horner - Syndicated Columnist; Angelica Duria - WITI-TV Fox 6
reporter,  (speakers at the event).  Seated are NPC Phil-USA Club Members
My first speech before NPC group

By Elizabeth Horner - 11th Grade Student

I was going through strong emotions as I travelled to Des Plaines , IL memorizing my speech at the back seat of the van --- the speech that I was going to deliver the following day, May 28, 2011 at Café La Cave before National Press Club Phil-USA members.  I wondered how they would receive an 11th grade student discourse.

Upon arrival at the event, I was greeted by the President and Vice President of NPC and ushered inside this elegant restaurant, arriving ahead of most guests as requested to talk about program expectations that day and an upcoming event in August.  The panel of speakers for the forum included Don Villar, a producer and news writer for Chicago ’s WLS-TV morning newscast; Angelica Doria, a WITI Fox 6 reporter based in Milwaukee ; and me.  I have a column, “Youth Speaks” in Asian-American Tribune in Chicago, IL and recently started contributing to Inquirer.Net Global Nation e-news edition and Mega Scene Newspaper, also in Chicago , IL in addition to contributions to our local newspapers.

In the question and answer portion of the forum, we were joined by the Consul General of the Philippines, Leo Herrera-Lim, who was also the special guest speaker that inducted the new officers.  Also the current President of NPC, Bart Tubalinal of Megascene Newspaper.

In my speech, I was nostalgic about the editor of the Daily Advocate Newspaper, Bob Robinson, who invited me to write my very first article, a youth perspective about Independence Day.  True to myself at nine years old, I wrote about Independence Day as a fun time eating on the hood of our family car while watching a great display of fireworks and screaming WOW with every burst --- until I got tired screaming or my tummy got so stuffed that I just wanted to sit there and do nothing.  It was what I and other kids I know loved and looked forward to the 4th of July.  I spoke about going back and reading that article which at first was just a pleasure thing --- but then I came to realize that by pouring over my old words, I was bringing her, the 9 year old me, to the forefront of my mind.  I made a parallel between that and most of my readings over the years.

When I read about Elizabeth the first, Queen of England or Anne Frank, the famous holocaust victim --- I get this sense that they are released from their graves to share their wisdom with the world again and how written works have so much to teach us of the past in reference to the future!  As we push forward with our lives learning and applying new technologies, that it is important that we take the time to look back too, on all the wisdom gathered over the generations.

I believe that history repeats itself and all the wars that we have fought, the rights that we have earned, the trades we have mastered, and the friends and enemies we have made affect our lives right up to this very moment --- and without proper documentation of those events, how could we truly learn from those experiences.  The more we accurately understand what happened back then, the easier it will be to take our next steps forward  towards even greater destiny,

I talked about youth’s relevance in today’s world, as everything my peers and I do will make history.  Among our ranks will come the next president, the next great inventor, the next ingenious painter, singer or dancer but even those without fancy titles or lofty ambitions will cause ripples throughout time because we all affect the people that we come in contact with.  It is also how writers portray us that will determine how the world remembers us and that is why the pen is often labeled as being mightier than the sword.

While writers record history; they also create it.  In today’s society many newspapers are in a rush to spit out “breaking news”, sometimes sacrificing quality reporting of major events, of history!  Also, young people have turned increasingly to instant information made easy by internet system and highly convenient, portable and sophisticated electronic gadgets.  While I don’t think that this is a bad thing, I think that historical facts are sometimes getting screwed and minimized in the process.

I am for a stronger moral compass and I believe that sooner or later there will be a social revolution --- a demand for increased accuracy of information, if it is not here now.  If we can find a way to combine all the principles of good, accurate reporting with cutting edge technology --- and the vitality, the liveliness, created by technological animations, I think that we can witness the awesome power of written works and to paraphrase Patrick Snow, the newspaper industry can still accomplish what is still invisible!!!

FYI, I survived the speech and felt validated enough to accept a speaking engagement in Iowa in October 2011.

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