A fifth-grade Texas girl paid tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. nearly 50 years after his death with an inspiring speech that called on young people to get involved in politics and enact change, so that "they will be able to say that Dr. King's dream has really come true."
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"The promise of Dr. King's dream, of improving the lives of the poor, and granting equal fair access to education and healthcare has not been fully realized," Tchanori Kone, an elementary school student from the Houston area said in her speech, which won first place this weekend at the 22nd Annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition.
Tchanori added that if the famed civil rights activist were still alive today, "he would be disappointed by our large homeless populations, our failing schools and struggling healthcare system."
"It felt amazing," Tchanori said today on "Good Morning America" of her win, explaining how she was inspired to write the speech.
"I was looking around in my community and I saw a lot of homeless people living in tents under the bridge and I looked on TV and I thought, ‘No one is really doing anything about this, wow,'" she said.
Tchanori's mom, Tandiwe Kone, recalled that her daughter was "able to identify" that issues during King's era were still issues in the world today.
"I’m over the moon. I don’t even know if proud is the word," Kone said on "GMA." "I’m just so excited for her."
In her speech, entitled "Making the Dream Come True," Tchanori echoed King's words, sharing her own dreams for the world.
"My dream for today's world is to eliminate poverty and for every human being to have equal, fair access to education and healthcare," Tchanori said.
Tchanori called on young people in her community to take political action by either running for office or voting to "change things."
"I have a dream that from the sincere caring people here in America, there will arise some young people who are committed to helping their communities," she said. "If we could convince these people to run for local, state, and even national offices, then we could vote for them, and have sympathetic people in power that can change things."
"If we can do this, then it will be the true realization of Tchanori's dream," she added.
Tchanori said she hopes the future holds for her more opportunities for public speaking.
"I think I will continue public speaking," she said. "I think I will decide to become an attorney or a comedian."