Zhorie'l Tapo, a first-grader at Plantation Elementary in Lafayette, is one of the grand prize winners for The Leader in Me Student Speech Contest. She, along with students in other age brackets, won a $500 Leadership Grant. Nearly 250 students participated in the nationwide contest.

Between March and June, students in kindergarten through eighth grade were invited to submit a video of a speech about a leadership topic that was inspiring to them: a person who was inspirational, what a leader is, what leadership means, why it's important to be a leader.

Plantation Elementary in Lafayette is one of 62 schools in the state that are Leader in Me schools.

In her speech, Zhorie'l explains the way all of us, young and old, need to handle our differences. She gets it.

She says she plans to run a nation. Personally, there's not a doubt in my mind she will. Zhorie'l is an example and an inspiration to us all.