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Serah Jackson sweeps away competition

Serah Jackson sweeps away competition

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Give Serah Jackson of the St Joseph Convent Marriaqua two thumps up! She swept away the five other contestants in the Cable & Wireless sponsored Lions Club South Secondary Schools’ Public Speaking Competition.{{more}}

Third place went to Rheanna Browne of the Adelphi Secondary School, while the lone male competitor, Kareem Thompson of the St Vincent Grammar School copped the runner up prize.

But the night belonged to young Jackson, the form five student, who will turn 17 on October 29.

As the competitors went through each section of the competition, starting with the main presentation on the topic “The realities of world politics could complicate our lives when we associate with nations such as Iran and Venezuela”, followed by the individually selected topics, and the two-minute impromptu section, Serah was the clear winner.

The Belair resident, calmly and effectively presented her main speech, in which she suggested that this country must weigh the short-term benefits derived against “the potential long term effects that may result from our association with countries such as Iran and Venezuela.”

Jackson reminded all that despite her inexperience in political science and diplomacy, she knows that “there is no such thing as a free lunch,” and therefore we must be vigilant in our foreign policy and ensure that the nation’s birthright isn’t being sold to the highest bidder.

But if Jackson had the lead after round one, in round two, she started to cruise with second place nowhere in sight; or so it seemed to many who listened attentively, but enthusiastically at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown.

Her delivery skills coupled with her chosen topic of “Disrespect for women, a growing epidemic” was just what was needed to have the audience, and seemingly the judges, eating out of her hands.

She referred to lines from popular dancehall songs and the 2008 local carnival hit “No more long talk” to show that women are “objects without anything worthwhile to contribute and that women are only good for one thing.”

She lamented that sexual crimes against women are up in St Vincent and the Grenadines and in other Caribbean countries like Jamaica.

Serah locked it all up when in the impromptu section, she picked the topic “Thumps up” out of the bag.

She then proceeded to give thumps up to a number of positive things, including students who were successful at their exams earlier this year and the scholarships they were awarded.

The end result was the total sweep of: best main topic, student selected and impromptu presentation along with the new aspect of the competition, the people’s choice, which was judged by persons watching the competition and sending texts on their b-Mobile cell phones.

“I am extremely excited,” Serah told SEARCHLIGHT after she was presented with her HP laptop computer and her trophies, including the coveted Senator Arthur Connell trophy.

She said that she was helped by her English teachers and her father, David “The Doubles Man” Jackson, who incidentally made it a family affair, by winning the audience impromptu public speaking competition.

The other competitors in what was the 13th year in which the Lions Club South in association with Cable and Wireless was organizing the competition were Nateesha De Souza of the Georgetown Secondary School, Janelle Gibson of the Girls’ High School and Souann Grant of the North Union Secondary school. (KJ)