DALLAS — Luke Blazek has a lot to say.
The problem is getting everyone else to listen.
“Hundreds, if not thousands, of kids have this great skill of communication, and it just dies in this room where they compete,” he said.
“They give these great speeches and they’re judged for five minutes to win an award or put their name on something. After that, it really has no impact.”
For Luke, who founded the speech and debate team at the Cambridge School of Dallas, words were merely a way to inspire action.
So last year, he asked his classmates to help build a garden for the homeless. Luke said the response was eye-opening.
He realized a lot of students wanted to give back, but were just waiting on the motivation. Once the garden was complete, he created a platform called Speak 4 America that allows high school students to put their words into action.
By uploading four-minute speeches, students advocate for a cause and then, with the help of an organization called Volunteer Now, they get to work making it happen.
So far, nearly 50 students from 17 schools have joined the cause.
The goal is to inspire everyone to set aside their differences and work together to better their communities.
“If you have lots of enthusiastic young people out here basically advertising for volunteering that just helps nonprofits expand their missions more and more,” said Volunteer Now CEO Tammy Richards.
“Because if we don’t, this world would just be full of darkness and that’s not what it’s about,” said Coppell High School senior Om Patel. “It’s all about bringing out light in everyone.”
Luke started Speak 4 America last summer as a way for other students to create change, but soon after it became personal.
The October tornado that struck Dallas destroyed the Cambridge School. Luke and his classmates have used Speak 4 America as a tool to help rebuild.
Next door to their shattered building, Thomas Jefferson High School was also heavily damaged in the tornado. One Thomas Jefferson student used Speak 4 America to encourage the community to embrace him and his fellow classmates.
Luke says it’s a perfect example of what Speak 4 America makes possible.
“Regardless of our circumstances, leaders always rise from the wreckage and use their words to inspire others to better tomorrow,” he said.
It’s up to the rest of us to listen.
For more information on Speak 4 America, visit Speak4America.org.
More on WFAA:
- Located on Brisket Lane, Zavala's may be Texas' next hit BBQ joint
- Life's better together in Three Way, Texas
- Toadsuck, Texas: A fake town people think was real
- One of the oldest people in Texas, 109-year-old woman says key to a good life is faith
- Once the fastest growing town in Texas, Kamay's name isn't quite as it seems