Two San Gabriel Valley High School Students Compete in Final Round of the Speech Scholarship Contest for a Chance at $5,000





Sophomore and Senior High School Students Compete in Speech/Debate;

Judged by 150 lawyers and dignitaries, including honorary guest, Associate Justice Joyce Kennard.


The Pasadena Bar Association (PBA) announces the two finalists of its 4th Annual Speech Scholarship Contest. The preliminary round, held in March, hosted approximately 125 (please confirm number) high school students from Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley, who competed for a chance to move into the final round, where the first-place winner will take home a $5,000 scholarship.

The final round will take place on Thursday, May 22 during the PBA's Law Day Luncheon. During this final round, the two finalists will be given seven minutes to present their speech to approximately 150 lawyers and dignitaries, including honorary guest, xxxx. Judging will occur during lunch, with the winner announcement shortly after.


Abel DeCastro (17), a senior, and Kelsea Jeon (16), a sophomore, from Arcadia High School are the two finalists who will compete, head-to-head, for a chance to win a $5,000 scholarship, presented by the Pasadena Bar Association. Second place winner will receive a $2,000 scholarship. The top 30 finalists will also have the opportunity to interview with local participating law firms for internships.

Abel DeCastro took second place during the 2013 PBA Speech Scholarship contest. "Returning from competing as a finalist last year, and Abel really exuded confidence and showed us his improved ability during the first round," said Don Schweitzer, PBA Family Law section chair and founder & partner of Schweitzer Law Partners. "What's interesting about Kelsea is she is our youngest finalist in the history of the speech contest. Sixteen years old and only a sophomore, her speech was well crafted and powerful as if she were a college graduate. These two young, powerhouses delivered outstanding, professional performances, while still being able to interject humor into their speeches—that's a skill not many adult speakers have conquered, so we were really impressed."


"The PBA Speech Scholarship Contest has grown in popularity over the years to the extent that it's become an incentive for our local schools to create a speech program for their students," said Don. "Temple City High School just created a speech program, and one of their speakers broke into the top 30, and they don't even have the training from competing in the regional high school speech and debate tournaments."

Don continued, "What makes this year's competition all the more rewarding is the internship component we've added as a benefit to the competitors. The finalists will have an opportunity to intern with one of the PBA's member law firms, and continue to build their skills through mentor programs. In fact, the student I spoke of from Temple City High School has already contacted our firm seeking an opportunity. These kids are extremely bright, smart, witty and motivated, and the PBA Speech Scholarship competition was developed as a platform for these students to showcase their talents."


Pasadena Bar Association's Law Day luncheon

Noon, May 22, 2014

at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium Gold Room

300 E Green St., Pasadena, CA 91101

About the Pasadena Bar Association

The Pasadena Bar Association (PBA) assists its members to develop and improve their practice of law by providing information, services, networking, career development programs and other resources. Since its founding in 1917, the PBA has vigorously pursued its stated purpose "to advance the science of jurisprudence, to promote the administration of justice, to encourage a thorough legal education, and to maintain the honor and dignity of the profession of law." The PBA has initiated numerous programs, services and opportunities for its members, the profession, the judiciary and the community.

For more information, visit

About The Schweitzer Law Partners

The Schweitzer Law Partners is Pasadena's premier family law firm and one of the most respected in the Los Angeles area. Their specialized attorneys are experienced in all areas of family law and estate planning, supported by today's most advanced legal resources. Founded by a former police officer turned assistant district attorney, their responsiveness and expert team approach give their clients a favorable edge.

The firm is structured to respond rapidly and proactively. Their staff of 20 includes attorneys and legal support equipped to handle every aspect of each case with the utmost in professionalism, integrity and respect. Principled advocates who will always put their client's best interests first, Schweitzer Law Partners offers peace of mind every step of the way.

For more information, visit our website.