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McIntyre Youth Leadership Challenge

The McIntyre Youth Leadership Challenge strives to inspire and encourage middle and high school students to demonstrate the qualities of good citizenship by seeking solutions to the various problems within their local communities. The Challenge will require students to exhibit skills in research, public speaking and community action.

The culmination of this Challenge takes place anually during the North Carolina Bar Association’s observance of Law Day. The annual Law Day festivities are administered by the Young Lawyers Division and funded through the Douglas Carmichael McIntyre II Justice Fund, a part of the North Carolina Bar Foundation Endowment.

The Challenge

  • Step 1: Students will identify a problem in their community that they are passionate about, such as homelessness, hunger, pollution, drug abuse, etc.
  • Step 2:  Students will conduct research on this issue and see what, if anything, is being done to address this problem within their community. They are encouraged to meet with community leaders, organizations, and citizens regarding the program and consider the ideas and diverse opinions of others.
  • Step 3: Students will assess how the issue is presently handled and offer their own analysis of current efforts. (E.g. Is the public unaware of the need? Are there limited resources? What needs to be done differently?)
  • Step 4: Students will make recommendations and set goals based on what they believe needs to be done to effectively address the problem and identify organizations that can help achieve these goals.
  • Step 5: Students will cultivate a detailed plan to accomplish their goals. Considerations could include citizen involvement, potential funding needed, local ordinances, addressing regulations or restrictions, obtaining media exposure, and potentially petitioning government.
  • Step 6: Students will prepare a 3-to-5 minute speech to address the issue and to inspire and challenge others to help resolve the identified problem. A nonprofit organization currently helping to address the problem should be identified by the end of the speech, so that it could receive a donation in the student’s name should the student place first in the Challenge.

The Competition

The competition will be conducted in two rounds.
Round 1: Students will prepare a video for submission of their speech summarizing the problem they have identified, their research, recommendations and goals.
Round 2: After scoring the video submissions, four finalists will be selected to deliver their speech to a group of attorneys and judges as part of Law Day celebrations in May 2024. The winner will be announced at the NCBA Law Day event, to which all finalists will be invited.

The objective is to inspire others to become involved and support efforts to resolve the identified issue. Students must also provide a written copy of their speech to the organizers of the event.

Each student will be given a score based upon the criteria below:

  1. Introduction – How well was the problem identified?
  2. Was the topic thoroughly researched to see what is already being done to address the problem in their community?
  3. Was the assessment of the problem and all of the data and information gathered from research fair and thoughtful?
  4. Were the recommendations thorough and would they directly address the problem identified?
  5. Did the student’s speech, in both content and delivery, demonstrate qualities that would motivate, challenge, and inspire others to work together toward a positive resolution or improvement for their community?

Helpful tips for getting started from MYLC Ambassador and Former 2022 and 2023 Winner, Krish Attaluri!

Awards and Recognition

At the annual Law Day Celebration, the four finalists will receive awards. After the first-place winner is announced, the champion will have an opportunity to deliver their speech to the Law Day Celebration attendees. In addition, a $1,000 donation will be made in honor of the first-place winner to an organization that was identified in the winning speech.


Registration closed on Friday, March 1, 2024. Registered students should submit their videos no later than Friday, March 22, 2024. Email [email protected] for more details or print the flyer below.