Take the lead public speaking contest welcomes attendees from across the world

News Release
March 25, 2015

London, ON – On Saturday, March 28th women from across the globe will gather at Brescia to compete for a one-year full academic scholarship and room in residence at Brescia University College. The half-day event will be held on campus at Brescia’s St. James Auditorium.

The Take the Lead public speaking contest welcomes females in Grades 11 and 12 to participate in a one-of-a-kind contest, which is being hosted for the seventh time since 2009. This year, finalists were selected after contestants submitted a pre-recorded, five-minute video of their speech. And, for the first time ever, Take the Lead will be hosting six contestants from international countries. Brescia will also host 35 female judges, many of whom are female community leaders from the London community who will help decide who receives first prize.

Contestants will be travelling to Brescia from as far away as Hong Kong for this year’s competition, and will speak about past or present “women who empower others through leadership.” The panel of judges will be composed of leaders in local education, communications, and members of the Brescia community.

The six international contestants travelling to Brescia are: Joashaha Drakes at St. Stanislaus College in Guyana, Grace Wu at Maple Leaf International School in China, Destiny Gardiner at Sunland Baptist Academy in the Bahamas, Shaddiah Hinds at Queen’s College in Barbados, Yan Ling Lam at Fanling Kau Yan College in Hong Kong, and Songlin Zhu at Guangzhou Zhixin High School in China.

Vice-Principal, Students Marianne Simm says, “We are thrilled to extend our contest from Ontario, through to Guyana, Barbados, Bahamas, China and Hong Kong. We look forward to providing a rich program for the students outside of the day itself.”

This year’s Take the Lead event has been extended to include a welcome reception on Friday, March 27th and a brunch for the six international guests and Brescia Connect members on Sunday, March 28th. Brescia Connect, a network of successful and motivated women who inspire, assist, and support future leaders at Brescia, selected Take the Lead this year as the area they wished to support financially through their donations. This allowed the event to become international in its reach for the first time.

Parking is free for the day and the contest will take place in the St. James Auditorium at Brescia. For more information, visit http://brescia.uwo.ca/takethelead.


For more information please contact Sheila Blagrave, Director Communications, Marketing & External Relations at 519-432-8353, ext. 28293 or at sblagrav@uwo.ca. Brescia University College, Canada’s only women’s university college, is affiliated with Western University. The 1,275 women registered as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more current and archived news, a listing of faculty experts, and photos please visit our Online Media Room at https://media.bresciauc.ca.