Stand Up & Speak Out!

The Jack Petchey Speak Out challenge provides the opportunity for students in state secondary schools across London and Essex to stand up and speak out about a topic that’s close to their hearts. The first stage of the challenge takes place in the form of a regional challenge which happens across each borough. The winners of each of borough would then go on to compete in the finals where a grand prize of £5,000 is up for grabs (of this £2,000 would be paid to the student in the form of a bursary and £3,000 would go to the winning school).

The Towerhamlets regionals were held at Sir John Cass Foundation School on the 14th of April. Representing Swanlea school was Tasniim Shariff and Zulaika Ali. Tasniim’s topic was ‘Racism in the fashion industry’ whilst Zulaika spoke of ‘The importance of education’. Both delivered their speeches to a panel of judges and to a wide audience of students and parents alike from the local borough. Though they weren’t able to proceed any further than the regional stage, both students gained valuable experience in the form of public speaking training and performance.

Zulaika had the following to say:

“This was far more challenging that our previous public speaking experiences. The competition was first very tough with some great speakers from the other schools, but also we were speaking to a much larger audience”.

Both Tasniim and Zulaika have represented Swanlea in the public speaking forum in previous events and both continue to grow and develop in confidence and courage as a result of their experiences.

We wish both students all the best in their continued journey and hope other students can follow their example and take advantage of the opportunities at hand.