Danielle Cross, a sophomore at Trumbull High School, took first place in the annual Trumbull Rotary four-way test speech contest.

The contest among high school students requires each participant to create and present a five to seven minute speech on a subject of their choice, applying the Four-Way Test to guide their thinking and their actions.

“We are so proud of all of the students who took part in the competition,” notes Deborah Cox, President of Trumbull Rotary Club. “All of the students tackled tough challenges, and made compelling, insightful presentations.”

One of the world's most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics, The Four-Way Test was created Rotarian Herbert Taylor in 1932. It asks the following four questions:

Of the things we think, say or do:


  • Is it the truth?

  • Is it fair to all concerned?

  • Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

  • Will it be beneficial to all concerned?


In her winning speech, Cross applied the test in deciding whether it was a good idea to forgive someone who took the life of a loved one. Other students wrote speeches on decisions and situations ranging from bullying, global warming and social media to capital punishment and gun safety laws.

Three finalists gave their speech at a meeting of the Trumbull Rotary Club, including Cross, second-place winner Julia Esposito, and third-place winner Anush Sureshbabu.