The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Poway-Peñasquitos branch’s first annual Speech Trek contest asked students to write and present five-minute speeches on the topic, “How Can We Eliminate Violence Aimed at Our Schools?” Dominique Ruedaflores, a freshman at Ramona Convent Secondary School, won the $500 first-place prize. She will continue in the competition to represent AAUW Poway-Peñasquitos at the California AAUW Speech Trek semifinals in March. The top three students from the semi-finals will compete at a state-wide convention held in San Diego on April 6. Skandhaa Subra won the $250 second-place prize. Skandhaa is a freshman at Mt. Carmel High School.

AAUW Poway-Peñasquitos has over 100 members from 4S Ranch, Carmel Valley, Escondido, Poway, Ramona, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Peñasquitos, and Scripps Ranch. In addition to the Speech Trek contest, the organization runs an annual Scholarship Fund and a Tech Trek program that sends eighth grade girls to a science camp every year. Their annual spring fundraiser, Cover to Cover, will be held May 4. Learn more at