Who runs the world? Well, it could be the girls descending on to Brescia this weekend.
On Saturday, young women from across the globe are gathering at Brescia for a shot at a one-year scholarship that covers room and board at Brescia University College.
Nearly 50 contestants in grades 11 and 12 from as far as Hong Kong and Guyana are taking part in the Take the Lead public speaking contest with the top prize valued at nearly $14, 000.
“This has quickly become a signature event for Brescia as it spans the strategic value spectrum from student recruitment through to external and donor relations,” Brescia president Dr. Colleen Hanycz said.
“We know that this event is also benefiting the young women in our community (both local and global) who are given an opportunity, perhaps for the first time in their lives, to focus on what leadership means to them.”
Each of the contestants are speaking about women, past or present, who’ve empowered others through leadership. To get here, finalists recorded a five-minute video of their speech and, if they made it past that first cut, they do it live on Saturday morning in Brescia’s St. James’ Auditorium.
Hopefully, they’ve shaken off any jitters because they’ll be speaking in front of 35 female judges from the Brescia alumni and community leaders in education and communications in London.
Although the affiliate college has hosted the event since 2009, this will be the first time the contest allowed international applicants. The six globetrotting hopefuls are:
BAHAMAS – Destiny Gardiner at Sunland Baptist Academy,
GUYANA – Joashaha Drakes at St. Stanislaus College,
BARBADOS – Shaddiah Hinds from Queen’s College,
CHINA – Grace Wu at Maple Leaf International School,
HONG KONG – Yan Ling Lam at Fanling Kau Yan College
CHINA – Songlin Zhu at Guangzhou Zhixin High School.
Brescia Connect, a network of successful and motivated women who assist and support leadership roles at Brescia, chose to supported the contest with donations this year and paid for the flights of the international guests.
On Sunday, the six international finalists will be treated to a brunch with Brescia connect members.
Hanycz adds that regardless of who wins, she has seen firsthand how these young women who participate in the contest go on to postsecondary studies and lead in their respective fields.
“In many ways, Take the Lead has become an active learning lab for that evolution and what better place than Brescia for that to occur?”