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Meet Grand Finalist Stephanie Gyamfi

10 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 Stephanie Gyamfi!

Her speech ‘The Power of the Tongue’, earned her and her school, Orchard Park High, Croydon, first place in her Digital Final in July. She varies the pitch, pace, and power of her voice to allow the impact of her points to sink in.

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

Enjoy your experience as much as you can because as you progress in the years, there will be more responsibility and tasks that you will have to complete.

Don’t be afraid to socialise and interact with other people. I know it can be quite daunting that you’re entering a new school and may not know alot of people. But that’s okay! Everyone is experiencing this. So branch out and make new friends!

Make sure you do the right thing and be responsible. Being in y7, you may be inclined to do the wrong thing and follow the crowd. But you need to understand that you need to know better and keep yourself accountable. Stay focused and do the right thing!

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

We are Gen Z, the next generation and our  voices deserve to be heard and respected. There are many who can relate to the experiences and events that we go through and by speaking out, we can make others feel like they are not alone and work together as a collective.

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

I felt it was really important to advise people about my speech topic. When I entered y7, I heard people abuse their language and not realise what is leaving their mouths. I know many people have experienced this and I wanted to be the person who actually spoke up about it.

And finally, what is your favourite saying or quote and why?

“If it is not going to matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes upset about it.”

I really like this quote because I generally find myself overthinking and this saying allows me to de-stress and focus my emotions and time on what really matters.

Watch Stephanie’s speech.