Dapto Lions Youth of the Year Award – Congratulations Sarah!

Congratulations to Sarah Van Vreumingen, Year 11 student, who recently won Dapto Lions Youth of the Year Award.

Sarah was asked a few questions about the competition and her involvement in it:

What was involved in the selection process? 

Lions Youth of the Year competition involved the submission of my resume outlining all my academic achievements, leadership roles and positions, community service, sporting and cultural activities for the last 2 years. After submitting this, I was granted an interview date. The 30-40 minute interview involved 3 judges asking some general knowledge questions and personal questions to get to know me better. 

For the second part of the competition it was compulsory to deliver two impromptu speeches for a duration of two minutes and a five minute prepared speech in front of judges and guests at a dinner at Elsinor Lodge.  

What did you do to achieve this? 

In preparation for the interview, I looked at the news to brush up my knowledge on current affairs. I practiced my speech continually until I knew it off by heart and was confident in myself, the timing and my delivery. 

To tell the truth I was pretty nervous about the impromptu speeches but if I learned anything going through this experience it was that firstly nerves are natural and I’m not going through it alone. And secondly, it was just to have a go and challenge myself so that as long as I gave it my best shot,  even if the impromptus didn’t go the way I wanted them to, it’s a learning experience and next time I’ll have a little more experience.

A personal comment by you about the process and what you achieved / learned.

Lions Youth of the Year is a great contest that provided me the opportunity to learn a range of skills that will help me later in life. Some of these including preparation of an interview, being able to think on my feet and the importance of clear communication, interview skills for university scholarships and employment,  and public speaking which is always a great skill. I encourage everyone to think about entering this contest. You learn to conquer your fears and realise at the end of it all that it wasn’t as bad as it seemed and next time it won’t be as daunting! I learned to push through my fears right through till the end and to not back down when I was nervous. Once you push through it, the reward is so worth it! You meet lots of new people and share the experience with your fellow competitors who are just as nervous as you are! 

As an aside, my prepared speech was titled “Venturing Beyond our Comfort Zones” and  entering this contest did just that for me!