“Although today we are only learners and observers — tomorrow, we will be your politicians, your doctors and lawyers leading this nation,” proudly proclaimed Amillia Bell, a Rufus King High School student.

Amillia was one of the winners of We Energies’ 38th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speech Contest. The company is proud to encourage students across Milwaukee to carry on Dr. King’s legacy.

Amillia and the five other first-place recipients will deliver their original speeches at the virtual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. The first-, second- and third-place winners also were honored at halftime at the Milwaukee Bucks game Saturday, Jan. 15.

Students from kindergarten to 12th grade were asked to write a speech using the theme “We must speak,” inspired by a speech Dr. King delivered in 1967. He said, “Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate but we must speak.”

This year’s judges were proud to see the next generation is doing just that.

Take it from Isabella Krieger Silva, a student at Fernwood Montessori and third-place finalist: “I have a voice. You have a voice. Every single person here has a voice. So even if you scream it from the rooftops, or just whisper in someone’s ear, it’s important that you make your voice heard.”