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Princilla Agyemang: Kenton pupil wins grand final of Jack Petchey's public speaking competition

PUBLISHED: 16:23 04 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:33 05 July 2019

Princilla Agyemang, of Kenton's St Gregory's Catholic College, celebrates winning the Jack Petchy

Princilla Agyemang, of Kenton's St Gregory's Catholic College, celebrates winning the Jack Petchy "Speak Out" challenge 2019

Archant

A Kenton school girl has beaten more than 20,000 teens her age to be crowned winner of Jack Petchey's major public speaking competition.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with Kenton's Princilla Agyemang, Jack Petchey Speak Out winner 2019 and Erin Stoner, 2018's champion. Picture: Tony PreeceLabour leader Jeremy Corbyn with Kenton's Princilla Agyemang, Jack Petchey Speak Out winner 2019 and Erin Stoner, 2018's champion. Picture: Tony Preece

Princilla Agyemang, from St Gregory's Catholic Science College, in Donnington Road, held her trophy aloft after winning the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge.

The 15-year-old conquered 14 finalists to win £2,000 and a further £3,000 bursary for her school after beating 20,507 applicants across London and Essex.

She wowed judges at the grand final on July 1 with her speech which tackled homophobia and discrimination around the world.

She said: "I didn't expect to win, so when they called my name I felt shocked and then loads of happiness. I felt really, really proud. Performing in front of such a large crowd was very nerve-wracking.

Princilla Agyemang, of Kenton's St Gregory's Catholic College, crowned Jack Petchy Princilla Agyemang, of Kenton's St Gregory's Catholic College, crowned Jack Petchy "Speak Out" winner 2019

Before I went on stage I was scared and worried; but once you get out there and see all those people you just have to get on with it."

Of her prize winning speech she said: "So many people are hurt and ostracised, it's so important that their issues are spoken about, addressed and changed.

"I hope that people will realise we are not as different as we seem; we share the same struggle and fight."

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The plucky teenager hopes to become a journalist in the future who raises awareness of "issues which affect people on a daily basis, but which are not necessarily seen or talked about, or which are brushed under the carpet".

She added: "I want to make a difference."

Jack Petchey's "Speak Out" Challenge! is the world's largest public speaking competition.

There are 37 different Regional Champions, from which 15 are selected to take part in the Grand Final.

Andrew Prindiville, St Gregory's headteacher said: "Our whole school community is immensely proud of Princilla.

"This is an amazing achievement and reflects Princilla's hard work and passion to make a difference, actively supported by her parents and teachers."

A pupil from the school won the Brent Regional Final in 2016.

In 2017 Macsen Brown of Queen's Park Community School, won the Grand Final.

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