Last Friday, eight DISD elementary students participated in the 19th annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition. Among the competition finalists was fourth-grader Alexus Torres of Louise Wolff Kahn Elementary. The students wrote and delivered original, memorized speeches to a large audience at the Majestic Theatre. They answered the question: “How will I carry on the legacy of Dr. King in my personal and professional life?”

Torres’ speech focused on ending violence and hatred between individuals of different races. “This is the kind of world I want to live in: one with love and peace,” Torres says. “This is what I want for my family, my children and my children’s children.”

The competition began with 139 students from 15 schools. A semifinals round in December produced the eight finalists selected to move on to the final competition. Watch Advocate videographer Benjamin Hager’s video below to view portions of Alexus’s speech and other competition highlights.