ST Louis Grammar School student, Niamh Laverty, has won the opportunity to speak out at the Northern Ireland Final of Soroptimist International’s Annual Youth Award Public Speaking Competition.
Niamh has won one of only 14 coveted positions in next week’s final of the competition which is supported by Progressive Building Society.
Her winning speech on the topic “Books: Are they a thing of the past?” won her the Ballymena Soroptimist club’s heat of the competition, which is open to female Year 12 & 13 students who are in full time education in Northern Ireland.
The competition annually attracts around 100 entries and this year’s Final will take place on Saturday, February 23, in The Great Hall, Magee Campus, University of Ulster, Derry.
Miriam Hamilton, Northern Ireland Regional President of Soroptimist International, says: “This annual Public Speaking Competition has been running for more than 30 years and plays an important role in encouraging young women to develop the skill to speak effectively and articulate with clarity, while developing their self confidence.
“At the final, as well as delivering their prepared speech on their chosen topic, each girl will deliver an impromptu speech without research. The girls’ speeches will be judged on content, presentation, delivery and impact.
Looking forward to hearing the young women’s speeches, Darina Armstrong, Chief Executive of Progressive Building Society, said; “I’m delighted that Progressive has taken the opportunity to support a competition which is held in high regard in schools and colleges throughout Northern Ireland. The ability to speak constructively and coherently in a public setting is an essential skill in today’s very challenging workplace.
“I am looking forward to a very competitive and spirited competition, which I know will once again be of an exceptionally high standard.”
At the Final, the winner will receive the Soroptimist Youth Award Perpetual Salver donated by Oneida Silversmiths and a replica, a bursary award of £250 towards her education, and an invitation to deliver a speech at the Soroptimist International joint North/South conference in the Burrendale Hotel, Newcastle, Co. Down, from 17-19 May 17-19.
The winner’s school will also receive a monetary award.