Branksome Hall student earns top honours at 32nd World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships
Her stirring speech about the harms of the marketing practice known as “rainbow capitalism” earned Grade 11 student Maylee world-champion status in the persuasive speaking category, edging out students from all over the world, including the United States, Australia, South Africa, India and China. Congratulations are in order for Grade 11 student Amonda, as well, who also represented Branksome Hall in the competition.
Considered the Olympics for student public speaking, this is the same competition that Branksome Hall hosted in 2019. The World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships, informally known as “Worlds," was held online this year. Maylee’s achievement is especially outstanding as she was also the youngest competitor to make it to the top ten, placing fourth overall, after competing in categories including interpretive reading and debate.
“We are really proud of both Maylee and Amonda for all of the hard work they put in,” notes Owen Williams, Debating Coach, MYP Coordinator and Senior & Middle English teacher.
“This was my first experience attending Worlds,” says Maylee, “and the first time there has ever been an adapted online version of the competition, so the entire process was a new environment for me.”
Being in the youngest grade for a senior category, she says she felt like “an underdog surrounded by skill and experience.” That was, perhaps, the secret to her drive to succeed, and she still has ambition to outdo herself. “By simply trying to outperform myself, and by bringing the best I had to offer, I was able to yield results that I can strive to surpass next year.”
“You have made my day [with this news]!” says Deputy Principal Karrie Weinstock. “We are so proud of Maylee's outstanding results and are so grateful to both Owen and Grace Nolan for your support and expertise, which has enabled Maylee to reach this wonderful moment.”