DYA’s 2023 Oratorical Contest took place on April 11th and 12th at the Guam Congress Building in Hagatńa. Middle and high school students competed by presenting a 3 to 5-minute speech based on this year’s Youth Month theme, which is “The Power of Resiliency.” Each speaker articulated their introspection and experiences related to the theme. The winners will take on the role of Youth Governor (High School) and Youth Lieutenant Governor (Middle School) during Island Leadership Day on April 27, 2023. Runner-up contestants will serve as the Youth Speaker (High School) and Youth Vice Speaker (Middle School) of the 37th Guam Legislature. All other contestants will step into the role of a Judge, Senator, Mayor, or Director of a Government agency. 

“This contest really is a strong showcase of our young people and their profound ability to encapsulate the stories of our island through the spoken word,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. “These students know the power of resiliency because they’ve lived it, and their insight is as valuable as it is inspirational. Our administration is looking forward to standing with these young leaders and helping to shape their powerful potential on Island Leadership Day and every day.”

“The voices of our youth contribute to the diversity of our societal perspective and engage the community to learn and be inspired by what younger generations can offer,” said Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio. “We’re happy to congratulate the winners and all participants on their performances.”

On April 11, 2023, seven confident and dynamic middle schoolers from public and private schools had the audience captivated with their performances. There was no room for error among these candidates. In the end, Zetta Camacho won the Middle School Category. Zetta is a 6th-grade student from Bishop Baumgartner Memorial Catholic School. Her speech about becoming resilient was based on the 3 ‘F’s’- Flexibility, Forgiveness, and Faith, which guided her and her sister through their gardening tribulations. At the end of her speech, Zetta hoisted an 8 lb. papaya as proof of her success through resiliency.

On April 12, 2023, six determined and conventional high schoolers from public and private schools showcased their speeches. These young leaders of the future have well-executed delivery, poise, and tone. But it was ultimately Ava Dungca, an 11th grader from the Academy of Our Lady of Guam, who was selected as the winner of the High School Category. Ava’s speech reflected on the trauma experienced by victims of sexual assault and finding their power of resiliency to self-heal from their life-altering experiences. An immensely powerful message and presentation by a 16-year-old to compose on paper and showcase it in front of an audience of fifty people. 

To view the middle school oratorical contest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z54AiUsr9iA

To view the high school oratorical contest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PCfInX_ZU0

Contact person:

Danielle J. Camacho, PIO for Youth Corrections

Department of Youth Affairs

(671) 735-5010



HIGH SCHOOL DYA: Front row (L-R) Joiel Setik, Del Evan Matthews, Daniel Cruz, Lt. Governor Joshua Tenorio, Bernard Malicsi, Ethan Dela Cruz, Senator Chris “Malafunkshun” Barnett, Ivan Aguilar, Nichelle Torcellino, Cheyoung Ahn, Andria Leon Guerrero; Back row (L-R) Sumin Kim, Pia Hart, Ava Dungca, DYA Director Melanie Brennan, Sgt. Maggie Naputi, DYA Deputy Director Michael Weakley

MIDDLE SCHOOL DYA: Front row (L-R): Rachel Cho, Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio, Senator Amanda Shelton, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero, Zetta Camacho, Anela Payumo, Anna G. Rice, Cecilia Camacho, Senator Roy Quinata, Inalahan Mayor Anthony Chargualaf; Back row); DYA Director Melanie Brennan, Eilis Sato, Mikaela Ramos, Justin Aguigui, Elijah Blas, Joey-Camille Unpingco, Adrian George, and Deputy Director Michael Weakley

Skip to content