Students Across Canada Deliver Inspiring Messages of Hope at Speaker's Idol

May 14, 2021


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Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center was proud to host the annual Speaker's Idol competition yesterday, providing an opportunity for students to share their ideas on how to create positive change in the world. With over 300 entries received from students in grades 6 through 12 from across Canada this year, there was a great deal of energy and excitement surrounding this virtual event.

The more than 300 entries were narrowed down through the quarter-final and semi-final rounds, to feature the top 11 finalists. The judges at every stage had an incredibly difficult task narrowing down the speakers - each student offered a unique and personal perspective to the content of their presentation.

The judges - FSWC Board of Governor Matthew Gottlieb, FSWC Senate Member Dr. Toni Zhong, and War Child Canada Founder & Executive Director Dr. Samantha Nutt - offered encouraging feedback to each of the finalists before the final results were announced in the elementary and high school categories.

In the elementary school category (grades 6-8):

1st Place - Asma Ameen Majeed, Grade 7 (Ontario)

2nd Place - Alithea Lauraitis, Grade 6 (Quebec)

3rd Place - Lingyi Chen, Grade 8 (Ontario)

4th Place - Noah Bryan, Grade 8 (Ontario)

5th Place - Apple Ma, Grade 8 (Ontario)

In the secondary school category (grades 9-12):

1st Place - Zehra Alvi, Grade 11 (Ontario)

2nd Place - Tie - Ella Ricketts, Grade 9 (British Columbia) and Logan Daniels, Grade 10 (Ontario)

3rd Place - Jessica Baumgartner, Grade 11 (Saskatchewan)

4th Place - Bracha Rom, Grade 10 (Ontario)

5th Place - William Pham, Grade 11 (Ontario)

Thank you to the Speaker's Idol Committee, Ricky Brooks, Michelle Glied Goldstein and Tracie Graff, for their ongoing support and leadership in the growth and development of the program.

Thank you to the Speaker's Idol Review Committee for dedicating time and enthusiasm to reading the initial 300+ speeches that were submitted for consideration.

Congratulations to all of the finalists for their incredible participation in Speaker's Idol 2021! We commend them for the courage it took to stand up and speak out about these issues of importance. We value their voices and are pleased to provide this platform.

Missed the event? Check out the video and be inspired!