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Meet Grand Finalist Bridget Thomas

12 Nov 2021

In 2020 Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge! Grand Final took to the airwaves – for the first time ever we broadcast around the world from a London film studio via YouTube. All but a handful of last year’s finalists shared their messages at digital events rather than live on stage. But things have changed and we are thrilled that this year the Grand Final will return to its home in the heart of London’s West End, the Cambridge Theatre on Monday 29th November. The count down is on!

More than 20,000 year 10 students from state schools in London and Essex took part in the “Speak Out” Challenge! this academic year, just fifteen students have become 2021 Grand Finalists.

All of this year’s finalists are Digital Champions whose pre-recorded speeches were broadcast as Zoom webinars to an audience of friends, families, teachers, the finalists themselves and of course, a panel of esteemed judges.

In no particular order, meet Grand Finalist Bridget Thomas!

Her speech ‘Everyone is a Genius…’, earned her and her school, St James’ Catholic High School, Barnet, first place in her Digital Final in May. Bridget’s speech offers a first hand account of the education system and her insight as to how well (or not) it has prepared her for adulthood.

We asked Bridget, what is your favourite saying or quote and why?

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”.

I really like this quote as it embodies the idea that everyone is good at something, and no two people are the same and that’s what makes society and humanity what it is. It reminds us to be accepting and realise we wouldn’t be where we are if everyone on the planet was good at the same thing. 

Why do you think it’s important for young people, like you, to share their stories?

I think it’s important as our generation is the future and we need our voices to be heard. So much is changing in the world, good and bad, and I just think it’s vital that we as the future, have our say and change what we want to change. If there is something you see that isn’t right, it’s your responsibility to speak up and feel empowered to try to make a difference.

And, how would you like people to think / act differently from hearing your story?

I just want people to understand that not everyone is good at the same thing, and that’s okay. The world would be so boring if every single person had the same ambitions, talents and experiences. Humans being different in all factors is what differentiates us from other species, so why try and funnel us all through one route expecting us all to fit and oblige. Everyone is good at something, I would like people to realise that just because it’s not the same thing you’re good at, doesn’t make it invalid. 

Watch Bridget’s speech now.