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Meet Grand Finalist Fariha Haroon

8 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 Finalists Fariha Haroon!

Her speech ‘Brown Culture’, earned her and her school, Tolworth Girls’ School and Sixth Form, Kingston, first place in her Digital Final in May. Fariha shares her “reality” of living in her family and culture as a way to comment on her experience of discrimination.

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

“Paradise is under the feet of Mothers.” I find it extremely important to respect mother’s as they have been through hardship raising you and protecting you. 

You could have made a speech anything in the world. Why did you speak about this one subject?

This subject is something that isn’t spoken a lot by others, although its mentally acknowledged, its never said out loud and I find it important to share my experiences and let those who stay in silence know that they are not the only ones who have felt like this and that it is completely okay to express your culture in whichever way they want. 

If you could make one change in the world what would it be?

I would make the salaries of social media influencers MUCH less than they are and give much more attention, significance and wealth to professions like medicine, science, teaching and engineering as they are the ones who are going to shape our future, not teenagers who earn a million through a 15 second video filming themselves eating a cake!

Watch Fariha’s speech.