Thursday, August 11 2022

RATHMORE Grammar School had a clean slate when their daughters won first, second and third place in the finals of the Soroptimist Public Speaking competition in Lisburn.

Soroptimist International is a global women’s organization working for peace and the betterment of the lives of young women and girls around the world.

The competition, which was attended by 19 other students from northern schools, was won by Rathmore student Brianna Armstrong, who took first place with a six-minute speech titled “When Women Prosper, All Society In enjoy” – a quote from Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations.

Rathmore’s Juliet Hewitt took second place, speaking on the theme “It’s easier to build strong children than to fix broken adults”.

Third place went to Stephanie Abogunrin, also from Rathmore, who spoke on the topic “Has the Black Lives Matter movement made us more aware of racism?”

After taking first place, Brianna Armstrong was given an additional challenge to speak on an unseen topic for two minutes with five minutes of prep time without a cellphone.

For this, Brianna was chosen as the overall winner and received the Soroptimist Youth Award and £200. Brianna was also invited to speak at the Soroptimist Society’s North/South Conference on May 21.

Juliet Hewitt (middle left), Brianna Armstrong (middle right), Stephanie Abogunrin (middle) and Ciara Boyle (far right)

Juliet Hewitt (middle left), Brianna Armstrong (middle right), Stephanie Abogunrin (middle) and Ciara Boyle (far right)

Ciara Boyle, Debate and Public Speaking Coordinator at Rathmore Grammar School, said, “This is a tremendous achievement for our students, our parents and the entire Rathmore community.

“This achievement is a testament to the diligence and commitment of Brianna, Juliet and Stephanie, who have all blossomed in articulation, critical thinking and rebuttal skills.

“By participating in the Soroptimist Public Speaking competition, our students have remained true to Rathmore’s mission statement, harnessing the skills of speaking to ensure the lives and dignity of all.”

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