Five Fremont Ross High School students competed in the Fremont Rotary club's speech contest.
 
FREMONT – Your relationship didn't work out?  Blame technology.
 
Missing out on meaningful friendships?  Maybe you're spending too much time on Facebook with virtual ones or playing games on your phone instead of having meaningful, face-to-face interaction.
 
Technology is an easy target for blame, but maybe you should be pointing the finger at yourself.  This was the topic of Sarai Perez's speech in the Fremont Rotary club speech competition on Monday.   Perez took first place.
 
"We sometimes blame technology, but in reality it's us who are failing," Perez told the club at the Fremont Country Club.  "Let not some device or screen define your personality."
 
Perez, a junior at Fremont Ross High School, was one of five Ross students who competed on Monday.
 
Dominique Darr, a junior, finished second, and Carissa Krauss, a junior, finished third.
 
Alejandra Montez, a junior, and Alexis Bryan, a sophomore, tied for fourth.
 
Darr talked about the importance of character building and how building a good character helps foster a better community.  "Poor character building is a way to destroy friendships and put you behind in life,"  Darr said.  "When I'm rude to someone I immediately feel bad about myself."
 
Krauss talked about helping the homeless population and praised the Liberty Center, the local homeless shelter for helping people.  "Our community could reach out in so many ways," she said. "Each of us has the power to eliminate the barrier between us and the homeless."
 
Montez discussed the adversity she has had to overcome in her life, including the death of her father when she was young and an abusive home life.  "Don't let the bad situations be who you are," Montez said. "They're just your story."
 
Bryan spoke about the negativity that gossip can create and encouraged fostering positivity.
 
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