Schoolgirl wins through to public speaking competition final (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Schoolgirl wins through to speaking competition final
A schoolgirl has won through to the final of a national public speaking competition.
Alina Khan, from Walthamstow School for Girls, took first prize in the Speak Out Challenge, which attracts 18,000 entries from across the UK.
She impressed the judges with her speech, entitled Sheep, which encouraged people to lead rather than follow.
She fought off competition from 16 other speakers who had advanced to the final after 455 Year 10s entered from 13 different schools across Waltham Forest.
“The standard was so high this year that to come first was really amazing,” she said.
Second place went to Abdushshakoor Suleman, from Norlington Boys School in Leyton, with his speech Peace and Inner Peace which explored inner tranquility in an increasingly bustling world.
Third place was awarded to Melody Adebisi, from the Buxton School in Leytonstone, whose speech, Give Them More, urged those who have received help from others to pay it back threefold.
Waltham Forest Mayor Nadeem Ali, who presented the awards, said: “The speakers I heard were truly powerful, fantastic and wow! It’s so important for people to speak up. I want you all to believe in yourselves and the value of what you have to say.”
Alina will now advance to the semi-final where she will compete against the winner from each London borough and four winners from Essex.
The final was held at Frederick Bremer School in Siddeley Road, Walthamstow.
Judges on the evening included Inspector Lisa Butterfield of Waltham Forest Police, solicitor and High Court advocate Tammy Sher of J D Spicer, Speak Out winner 2011, Xhavit Hoxhaj, and last year's Waltham Forest runner-up Abdullah Abaidullah.
Students will compete for over £15,000 worth of prizes in the final on July 14.
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