Heritage High School Student finds her talent in public speaking

Photo courtesy of Adriana Zanotto-Doyle

Adriana Zanotto-Doyle , right, stands with her sponsor, Linda Barbara from the Diablo Valley Lions Club, at the Student Speakers competition.

The thought of standing up in front of a group of people and giving a public speech strikes terror into the hearts of some -- this is not the case for Adriana Zanotto-Doyle.

The Heritage High School student recently won a $4,500 scholarship and a $500 cash prize at the Lion’s Club Student Speaker Contest, sponsored by the Diablo Valley Lion’s Club.

“My sophomore year, I took a speech and debate class and I learned I had a talent for public speaking,” Zanotto-Doyle said.

The subject of Zanotto-Doyle’s speech at the regional competition was “The Pros and Cons of Distance Learning,” a subject facing virtually every student nationwide, since the beginning of the pandemic. Zanotto-Doyle won at the zone, district and region competitions in the statewide event. She made it to the Area competition which was the final level before the state competition. She credits her speech teacher at Heritage with helping her to discover her interest in public speaking. It was after her initial speech class that she became instrumental in forming a speech and debate club at Heritage.

“My parents were surprised that I had a talent for this, as I was a shy child,” she said.

Zanotto-Doyle plans to utilize her public speaking talents to major in either international relations or law when she goes to college following her senior year. The junior is already looking at applying to the University of California at either Berkeley, Los Angeles or San Diego. She said she will most likely compete in the annual contest next year.