A Texas fifth grader is hoping to inspire and motivate other young minds this Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Tchanori Kone, an elementary school student from Houston, took home first place this weekend at the 22nd Annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition after she wrote and delivered a powerful speech about the change she wants to see in this world.
“The promise of Dr. King’s dream, of improving the lives of the poor, and granting equal fair access to education and healthcare has not been fully realized,” Tchanori said in her speech titled “Making the Dream Come True.”
Tchanori, who told Good Morning America that “it felt amazing” to win, added in her speech that if Dr. King was still alive today “he would be disappointed by our large homeless populations, our failing schools and struggling healthcare system.”
She was inspired to write the speech, she told the morning show, because “I was looking around in my community and I saw a lot of homeless people living in tents under the bridge and I looked on TV and I thought, ‘No one is really doing anything about this, wow.’ “
Her mother, Tandiwe Kone, said that Tchanori — who wants to do more public speaking in the future — noticed that issues that existed during King’s era nearly 50 years ago are still present today.
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“I’m over the moon. I don’t even know if proud is the word,” Tandiwe told Good Morning America. “I’m just so excited for her.”
“My dream for today’s world is to eliminate poverty and for every human being to have equal, fair access to education and healthcare,” said Tchanori, who hopes people around her age either aspire to run for office or vote to “change things.”
“I have a dream that from the sincere caring people here in America, there will arise some young people who are committed to helping their communities,” she told the news outlet. “If we could convince these people to run for local, state, and even national offices, then we could vote for them, and have sympathetic people in power that can change things.”