Princilla Agyemang, age 15, from St Gregory’s Catholic Science College in Kenton, beat 20,507 pupils from across London and Essex to win the Grand Final of the Jack Petchey 'Speak Out!' Challenge on July 1st at the Cambridge Theatre, London.
Princilla impressed a large and distinguished line-up of judges with her speech, which tackled homophobia and discrimination around the world.
Asked how she felt when she was announced winner, Princilla said, ‘I didn’t expect to win, so when they called my name I felt shocked and then loads of happiness. I felt really, really proud. Performing in front of such a large crowd was very nerve-wracking. Before I went on stage I was scared and worried; but once you get out there and see all those people you just have to get on with it.’
Princilla’s aspirations for the future are to be a journalist who raises awareness of ‘issues which affect people on a daily basis, but which are not necessarily seen or talked about, or which are brushed under the carpet’. Princilla added, ‘I want to make a difference.’
Jack Petchey’s 'Speak Out!' Challenge is the world’s largest public speaking competition. There are 37 different Regional Champions, from which 15 are selected to take part in the Grand Final. Andrew Prindiville, St Gregory’s Headteacher said, ‘Our whole school community is immensely proud of Princilla. This is an amazing achievement and reflects Princilla’s hard work and passion to make a difference, actively supported by her parents and teachers.’
St Gregory’s has achieved success in this competition before. In 2016 a pupil from the school won the Brent Regional Final.