Anya Marino ‘24 Wins Second Round of Massachusetts Lions Club Youth Speech Competition

Accountability is the theme of this year’s Massachusetts Lions Club Youth Speech competition, and it’s a concept that speaks loudly to Montrose student Anya Marino ‘24.
Anya won two rounds of the competition and advanced to the district competition on February 12. While she did not win that round to advance to the State level, Anya welcomed the opportunity to increase awareness about a cause that is close to her heart.

Motivating others to take accountability for children in foster care is what inspired Anya to write her prize-winning speech. Anya ambitions to be an emergency room doctor. But her recent win has sharpened the focus of this goal and given clarity to the positive impact she can make on the most vulnerable members of society. Anya’s family has opened their hearts to foster care children in need of a home, and Anya wants to inspire others to do the same.

“I wanted to be able to bring my story to others, to let them know what happens. The foster system isn’t great but this is what we can do. Hopefully, people will be inspired to foster.” 

Montrose has an impressive record in the Lions Club Speech Competition, with three state wins since 2016. In 2020, Jennifer Uche ‘22 won the contest at the state level. This year four students competed in the regional round: Anya Marino (region and zone winner), Anna Hvidsten ‘23 (region first runner up), Hansini Gundavarapu ‘24 and Kate Novack ‘24. 

Anya encourages others to take risks, whether that means entering a contest you have never considered before or taking a chance on a child in need.

“Go with it,” she says, “because if you don’t, you are never going to know what can happen.”

As for Anya, having the chance to reflect on and articulate her family’s experience has deepened her commitment to helping children in foster care. Now Anya is pointing her plans of a career in medicine specifically towards helping children who need it the most. She knows her story matters - not only to herself but to those in need and to those who can help.