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Mossbourne Community Academy teen wows Jack Petchey Foundation judges with speech on autism

PUBLISHED: 17:03 05 May 2018

Jean Kossoko-Ormerod from Mossbourne Community Academy bagged first place in the Hackney regional final of Jack Petchey�s 'speak-out challenge'. Photo by Tony Preece

Jean Kossoko-Ormerod from Mossbourne Community Academy bagged first place in the Hackney regional final of Jack Petchey�s 'speak-out challenge'. Photo by Tony Preece

Tony Preece

A teenager's powerful speech on autism wowed judges in a Hackney public speaking competition which was not for the faint-hearted.

From left to right: Chidinma Ejimonye (Our Lady's Convent High School), Sue Warner (founder of Speakers Trust), Jean Kossoko-Ormerod (Mossbourne Community Academy) and  Lisandr Qose (Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy) at the Hackney regional final of the Jack Petchey 'speak-out challenge'. Photo by Tony PreeceFrom left to right: Chidinma Ejimonye (Our Lady's Convent High School), Sue Warner (founder of Speakers Trust), Jean Kossoko-Ormerod (Mossbourne Community Academy) and Lisandr Qose (Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy) at the Hackney regional final of the Jack Petchey 'speak-out challenge'. Photo by Tony Preece

Jean Kossoko-Ormerod, from Mossbourne Community Academy, was named the winner of the Jack Petchey Foundation’s ‘speak-out challenge’ after performing ‘outside the box’ on stage at Haggerston School on Tuesday night.

More than 500 Year 10 students in Hackney’s state secondary schools received a one-day public speaking and communications training workshop earlier this year.

During the course, students were given the skills and the confidence to develop and deliver a competition speech on a topic that is important to them.

Jean bagged a £100 gift certificate and will go through to the final of the competition at the Cambridge Theatre in Covent Garden in July.

“The training and the competition has been totally amazing,” the 15-year-old said. “I realised that I made the crowd laugh but I never imagined for a second winning.”

The ‘speak-out challenge’ is the world’s largest youth speaking event in the world, with more than 19,000 students in London and Essex taking part.

It is supported and funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation and designed and delivered by public speaking charity Speakers Trust.

Sue Warner, Founder of Speakers Trust, presented the awards and said: “What a wonderful evening - the standard was so very high.

“All of the speakers had something to say and they said it so well – we had such a variety of speakers.

“Congratulations to all.”

According to the foundation, the overall increase in student confidence in Hackney as a result of the training was 62per cent.

Second place on the night went to Lisandr Qose, 15, from Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy with his speech “denied”, closely followed by Chidinma Ejimonye, 14, from Our Lady’s Convent with her speech called “F.R.I.E.N.D.S.”

The judging panel at the event included Karen Notaro (district commissioner of the East London Scouts) and Jack Petchey Foundation grants officer Schenell Stephens.

For more information on getting involved in public speaking visit speakoutchallenge.com.

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