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Meet Grand Final Judge, Maddeline Balogun

23 Nov 2021

On Monday 29th November, Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge! Grand Finalists will take to the stage of the Cambridge Theatre and share their speeches for the last time in this competition. The job of the selecting a Grand Champion falls to a panel of VIP judges. They will use  The Communication Triangle of Content, Delivery and Structure to determine the winning speech of the evening.

We’ll be sharing who they are one by one so that you can get to know them and learn what they will be looking for in our Grand Finalists’ speeches. We are thrilled to share this news with you – let’s meet the judges! Maddeline Balogun is the 2020 “Speak Out” Challenge! Grand Champion. As the reigning Champion, she will not only be a judge this year but she will also be passing the proverbial crowd to her “Speak Out” successor.

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

“I killed a plant once because I gave it too much water. Lord, I worry that love is violence.” — José Olivarez

I believe that the opposite of love is indifference not hatred and that it’s a very powerful emotion.

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

As a young person, what I say is rarely taken seriously so I try to get my message out as much as I can. The more we share our experiences, the harder it will be for others to ignore.

And finally, what three top tips on life would you give a Year Seven student?

Relax – enjoy how stress free school is for as long as it lasts, you’ll regret it at your GCSEs if you don’t.

Pay attention – I know what you’re learning might seem useless, but a surprising amount of it comes up later in your school career.

Take opportunities – I regretted missing out on a lot of things back in year 7 so don’t let life pass you by.