DALLAS (CBS11) – A fourth grade student just won first place at the 26th annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition – beating out 121 students from 16 DISD schools.
For three months, Wesley Stoker worked on his winning speech. The theme: “What is your dream for today’s world?”
“I wish we would all be friends with our neighbors,” recited Wesley. “I wish we could see we have more in common than we think.”
“Wesley practiced it in restaurants, in hallways, at people’s homes, at the drop of a hat in a parking lot,” shared his dad, Dr. Andy Stoker.
Dr. Stoker is the Senior Minister at First United Methodist Church in Dallas.
“Because my dad is a minister, it’s kind of in my blood,” said Wesley.
When he won the competition, he was in shock. His message was a powerful tribute to Dr. Mr. Luther King Jr.
“I may not look like Dr. King, but I believe like Dr. King,” repeated Wesley.
His dad asked him to share it at church, last Sunday.
“Wesley, in his suit, stood boldly with his peers around him, and delivered his speech again. The congregation stood to their feet in appreciation,” said Dr. Stoker.
Dr. King inspired a nation. This 9 year old – is starting with his community:
“My biggest dream is that you would start today in joining me in sharing love. It’s not hard. You start with a smile. Thank you,” Wesley recited.
Wesley won $1,000. He says he sees more public speaking in his future, possibly from behind the pulpit, just like his dad.