First off, I would like to thank the Ridge Hill Community Soccer organization for recognizing my efforts with this award. Some might think of the “Best Spirit” trophy, cast millions of times over in a cheap, Chinese plastic, as something of a participation trophy—not I. To me, this is everything.

This is exactly the stage I dreamed of being on all the years I was clawing my way up—the Ridge Hill Lutheran Church main stage, which Pastor Archie has generously allowed us to use. All of those years I spent taking bad gigs when people said I wasn’t going to make it: age 5, bench; age 6, left defender; age 7, bench; age 8, bench; age 9, backup goalie; age 10, bench; all of those years that people were laughing at me, saying “You’ll never be up there on Pastor Archie’s stage and you’ll never win a trophy”—it was all worth it.

But just as I had to stand out there every day beneath the blistering sun, the icy rain, and the deluge of subpar Capri Sun flavors—nobody wants Radical Radish flavor, Mrs. Lamarque—so too are there children out there right now in even worse conditions in detention centers at the Mexican border, thanks to our current president.

Donald Trump, if you’re watching this closed-circuit station broadcast in the greater Ridge Hill, Tennessee area, and I know you are, know that we in the Recreational Soccer Division 2, ages 11-13 bracket are not going to stand for your tyranny anymore. Know that my victory here is not a victory for backup goalies and bench players, nor even a victory for the entire 11-3 bracket, Division 2, but a glorious toll on the victory bell, the peal of which will rattle your administration to its core and shake loose the mold of corruption that has crept up over the past 3 years. We will not stand for this anymore. That is what this Best Spirit trophy truly means, mine as well as all other 87 that were awarded to my peers today!


Before I forget, I would like to thank my mother, Luisa, and my older sister Tati for raising me together to be the woman I am today. I want to thank my manager, Glenn, as well as my dearest friends Luke, Sabrina, and Miguel for being the absolute best support that anybody could ever hope for. Oh my goodness, I swore I wouldn’t get emotional. I’m sorry, how could I forget to praise God? Lord, it’s because of you that I’m the Wendy’s Employee of the Month today, and it is with your eternal guidance and shepherding of me that I have worked through the hard times to get here.

Do you all remember what they said when I first joined the work-force? They said that a Latina woman could never be employee of the month at this Wendy’s. They said that the managers were just going to consider me because it looked good. Well here I am, not because of my heritage, but because my time at cash register number 2 resonated with a lot of people. I’m here because of my ethics, because hard work beats talent every day, and because I needed to pay off my braces so I did need to pull a couple of double-shifts all week.

But I didn’t do this for me. I didn’t do this for Luke or Miguel, I didn’t even do this for Sabrina. Every day when I was cleaning toilets or wiping down tables, or taking one of several on-the-clock smoke breaks out by the dumpster, all I could think of, all that kept me going were the thoughts of the Kurdish people. Where are their clean tables? Where are their clean toilets? Where are their cigarettes that their older brother bought for them? They have none, and it’s all because they’re being abandoned by our current president.

Donald Trump, if you’re somewhere out there in the group of 8 employees that are gathered before me for this monthly occasion as I know you are, know that we in Sandhill’s 3rd-most successful Wendy’s franchise have had enough. Step down! This selection of me for Employee of the Month is a clarion call for all peoples to raise their fists in righteous indignation and say “no more.” I was chosen because the managers knew that I was going to stand up to you in this speech, and also because Teresa was caught using her cell phone too much the day before they were going to give her the award. We’re coming for you, Trump!


Ever since I was a child, all I ever wanted was to be voted Nicest Smile. As a young, poor boy on the bad side of town, my mother used to say to me “Leo, you’re special. You’re going to be somebody someday. You’re going to be recognized.” Well here I am mom, standing before you and a legion of my peers, honored beyond belief to have finally peaked.

Best Smile, they say, comes from an Algonquin phrase meaning “he who holds light to the evils of the world and exposes the truth”, and I will think about that every day—not just when I’m brushing, not just when I’m mouth washing, and not just when I’m using a particular set of whitening snapchat filters to enhance my shine. If I am going to lead the movement for all the kids out there whose dream it is to have Nicest Smile, I must speak truth to power.

For too long, Donald Trump has been the tartar on the gums of our government, the flecks of garlic and pepper that is wedged between our bicuspids, the abrasive bristles eradicating the enamel of fine government. For too long, people have stood by, in fear due to the absence of a true, Nicest Smile leader. This is why I knew I had to step up and do this task. If I didn’t, who would? We’re currently allowing big oil to traffic its product across sacred Native American soil, and that is not something to have a big smile about, thanks to our current president.

Donald Trump, if you’re amongst the group of 12 high school seniors on the student committee who are reviewing this text to see if it’s fit for reprinting in our annual yearbook and I know you are, then hear this! The American people are not content to sit by and smile while you whittle away at the natural resources which god in his infinite wisdom did put upon this earth for us. That’s right, they don’t want me to say god, but I’m saying it! Mr. President, it’s time that you eliminated the plaque of your administration and allowed our country to resume its natural course towards a clean bill of dental health.

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