High school freshman from St. Paul wins speech award at state Capitol

19 July 2023

When approaching the topic “Securing the Blessings of Liberty in 21st Century America” Chesterton Academy (Hopkins) freshman Francesca Chastek, of St. Paul, says she realized that changing laws was only part of the solution, there is also a necessary mindset shift.

“We could change all these laws, but if people don’t want to take advantage of their liberty, then it won’t matter. So we have to do is something a lot deeper than just changing our rules,” Chastek said

Her speech title “How to Escape the Prison You Build” recently won her first place at the Speaking Proudly speech competition and $2,500.

Speaking Proudly is a non-profit project of Metro Republican Women. The competition is designed for young women to research and engage in the U.S. Constitution, according to Sherie Wallace, public relations for Speaking Proudly.

On June 17, the day of the competition, Chastek got to the Capitol at 8 a.m. and ended up giving the speech four times including once on the floor of the House and the final round in the rotunda with the other top three contestants.

She plans on spending the money to get her drivers permit, visit her godmother in Spain and one of her best friends in France. She also wants to walk part of the Camino de Santiago trail.

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