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Senior Spotlight: Cristian Corro Zambrano Speaking Out



Cristian and Mr. Moore at the Speech Competition

Walking through the halls as a sophomore, Cristian Corro Zambrano kept his head down and his mask on. Being new to the district after coming from Venezuela, Cristian was incredibly antisocial.

After spending the year not talking to anyone, Cristian decided it was time to change things, so he signed up for speech class.

“That summer, I was feelin’ myself,” Corro-Zambrano said.

The first semester of junior year ended, and Cristian was feeling confident and had fallen in love with public speaking. At the end of the semester, Mr. Moore approached him and offered him the opportunity to compete in a speech competition, and of course, Cristian couldn’t turn it down.

During the preliminary round of this competition, there were going to be two people from Kings and two people from Mason. Mason chose not to send anyone, so Cristian got to face off against another girl from Kings. He ended up winning and moved on to the regional competition. He didn’t even make it to the top for that, but he didn’t let that stop him. He heard the speeches from the other contestants and could understand the loss, but that only fueled him to do even better next year.

Now, in his senior year, he chose to do the competition again. In the preliminary round, Mason was a no-show, the same as last year. This year, he went up against Taylor Kleis. He admits that she had an amazing speech. Though he was confident in his speech, he had full expectations of her moving on. To his surprise, not only did she move on, but he moved on with her.

He was locked in at the regional competition, surrounded by familiar faces from last year.

“I’m telling you, my confidence was over the roof,” Corro-Zambrano said.

His speech placed him second overall, and he was only tipped into second place by a slight stutter. Though he was bummed not to make first, Cristian could agree that the winner deserved the win.

“I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s just so refreshing,” Corro-Zambrano said.

Mock Trial

Looking for a new challenge after the speech competition ended in junior year, Cristian decided to join Mock Trial on the recommendation of his friend Lily Mueller. It wasn’t speech, but he decided to check it out. The team was primarily composed of newbies who had never done it before. They didn’t have high expectations, and Cristian didn’t take it as seriously as he should have. In his first competition, he was destroyed, which only fueled the fire, and he ensured it wouldn’t happen again.

Overall, his team could have done better by one crucial point that prevented them from going anywhere.

For the second case for Mock Trial, the team was motivated and locked in. They went to extra trials, worked 24/7, and put in work wherever they could so that they could compete at a higher level.

The Mock Trial team after placing second in the Competition

The first competition was at Miami University; after winning at Miami, the team hit UC. Unfortunately, they did not move on to the state competition.

There are theories that the system is rigged because there were two judges instead of three, and they were pitted against the reigning runner-ups from last year. One of the judges had them lose by 20 points, which was crazy, seeing as it was their first year judging a Mock Trial competition. The loss did seem unfair, and the team shared the opinion that they could’ve done very well in state.

As Cristian graduates and heads to Cincinnati State to study culinary arts, he plans to continue honing his public speaking skills. His journey from a shy newcomer to a confident speaker and mock trial participant has equipped him with valuable skills that will serve him well in any future endeavor.


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About the Contributor
Addi Ogburn
Addi is a sophomore in highschool. She is super interested in languages and would love to learn more so that she can travel the world. She is very opinionated and very passionate about what she believes in and that gave her the idea to write for The Knight Times.
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  • R

    Rick DayMay 17, 2024 at 4:27 pm

    Well written. It sounds like he likes competition and speaking in public. I imagine that he will go far in his career.

  • C

    Claudia OgburnMay 14, 2024 at 11:51 am

    Thank you for this excellent article. We can all learn from Cristian’s story the value of facing your fears with hard work and perseverance. You did a beautiful job of describing his experiences and encouraging me to follow his example.

  • P

    Patricia DayMay 14, 2024 at 11:38 am

    Very interesting subject. What a brave young man.