News

Student reaches final of public speaking competition

Over 30,000 year ten students in over 500 state schools in London and Essex take part in the annual event

Pictured from left to right are Feryal Clark MP, winner Ivan Twumasi, runner-up Kiara Lee Minto, third-placed Karen Yiadom, and Enfield mayor Suna Hurman
Pictured from left to right are Feryal Clark MP, winner Ivan Twumasi, runner-up Kiara Lee Minto, third-placed Karen Yiadom, and Enfield mayor Suna Hurman

A school pupil is just one step away from the grand final of the UK’s largest youth public speaking event taking place in the West End this July.

St Ignatius College pupil Ivan Twumasi, aged 15, was crowned winner of the regional final of Jack Petchey’s ‘Speak Out Challenge’ which took place at Enfield Grammar School last month.

Over 30,000 year ten students in over 500 state schools in London and Essex take part in the annual event, hosted by the UK’s leading public speaking and communication charity, Speakers Trust, and funded and supported by the Jack Petchey Foundation (JPF).

Ivan was crowned regional champion after speaking out about feeling the pressure to excel in a speech titled ‘Pressure: Does it Get Better?’

His passion and articulacy caught the eyes and ears of the expert judges. Ivan now proceeds to the online semifinals with just 37 other regional champions, before the final 15 are selected for the grand final taking place at the prestigious Cambridge Theatre on 8th July.

Ivan said: “I feel great, I feel like I am dreaming as I cannot believe I won. I am waiting for it to sink in. Thank you to the Jack Petchey Foundation and Speakers Trust.”

The runner-up was Kiara Lee Minto, representing Kingsmead School, who made a compelling speech titled ‘Imagine If…’ while third place went to Karen Yiadom from Oasis Academy Hadley, with a speech titled ‘Our Worst Nightmare’.

Mayor of Enfield Suna Hurman attended the event and said: “It is amazing that at the age of 14 or 15 how confident these young people are. Thank you to Speakers Trust and the JPF for giving them this wonderful opportunity and letting us hear.”

Enfield North MP Feryal Clark also attended and said: “I think that this is an absolutely brilliant programme to help young people find their voice and speak up. I am blown away by the talent and what I saw and heard.”

At the grand final, Ivan is competing not only for the honour of becoming this year’s Jack Petchey’s Speak Out Challenge champion but also for the chance to win £5,000 – a £2,000 bursary for himself and £3,000 for his school.

Dispatch readers are welcome to nominate their own ‘Edmonton Youth Hero’ – an inspirational young person (16 or under) from Edmonton who has made a valuable contribution to their local community. Simply email your nomination to [email protected]


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