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Meet Grand Finalist Samanta de Almedia Germano Schwarz

11 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 Samanta de Almedia Germano Schwarz!

Her speech ‘The Power of the Fool’, earned her and her school, Whitmore High School, London, first place in her Digital Final in May. Samantha’s speech is playful and creative.

We asked Samantha, what three top tips on life would you give a Year Seven student? 

  1. Stop running everywhere! You’re not late. 
  2. Enjoy every moment before your GCSEs!
  3. Be kind. 

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

Games and riddles have always fascinated me. I thought it would be exciting to make something out of, seemingly, nothing. In this case, playing cards. It’s a reminder of the beauty in life’s hidden challenges. 

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

Too often, the thoughts and judgements of young people go to waste. We are taught that our elders know best, so we stay quiet. I think it’s about time our elders learn a little something from us, however small. 

And finally, how could this experience help you further any passions you have?

Speaking has encouraged me to share my ideas further. It’s thrilling to teach and to learn, to give and to receive. There is a vulnerability in simply speaking one’s mind, and I am thankful for this competition for granting me the ability to gain and understanding of other young people’s endless positions. 

Watch her speech now.