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On Thursday 07 June, fifteen year 10 finalists from NCOP schools across Birmingham and the Black Country took part in The Aimhigher West Midlands’ Speak Out Final at the prestigious Bramall Music Building at University of Birmingham.

Aimhigher recognise that being able to speak in public is an important skill that will help young people progress in life and achieve the jobs of their dreams but this requires the development of the skills and the confidence to be able to do so.  We are really pleased that we have been able to work with some of our local schools and the Speakers Trust Foundation to provide an opportunity for young people to begin to do this. We are really proud of all of the students who really challenged themselves and moved out of their comfort zones to deliver their speeches about a subject that is really important to them.

This is the first time we have run this project in Birmingham and we were delighted to see so many teachers, parents and friends in the audience supporting the brave young people. We are also extremely grateful to the judging panel who took time out of their busy schedules to join us on this special occasion.

Judge Sameena Ali Khan, ITV Presenter said “What a wonderful experience! I felt every emotion possible and that is testament to the power of the range of speeches delivered”.

Watch our very own West Midlands Champion, Jayden from Ormiston Forge Academy in action here.

Look out for for the Speak Out Challenge in a school near you soon!