From competing in the Oceanic Athletic Championships to winning Guyra’s Lions Youth of the Year, there’s no doubt it’s been a successful 2016 for Guyra’s Kelsie Youman.
Kelsie and fellow Guyra Central School student Logan Stanley, were nominated to compete by Head of English and History teacher, Susan Dolby.
“First we had to submit an application and then we did our interview, after that we went into a dinner and had two impromptu speeches and a prepared speech,” Kelsie said.
Kelsie’s prepared speech was about deforestation.
“I chose deforestation because animals and the environment are both things that I've always been really passionate about,” she said.
“I'm also doing my major artwork on deforestation so I already had pretty good background knowledge about the issue.”
Despite being nervous about the speeches, the Guyra girl pulled through thanks to some good preparation.
“In the lead up to the speeches I was watching the news to try to stay up to date on current affairs and I just had family and friends ask me questions about anything and I would try to answer them as best I could.
“I was up against another boy from my school, but now that I've won I go onto the next level which I'm pretty excited about.”
I was up against another boy from my school, but now that I've won I go onto the next level which I'm pretty excited about.Kelsie Youman
Ms Youman will now advance to the zone level held at the Armidale Dumaresq Lions Club early in the New Year, where she will be required to present a five minute speech and two impromptu speeches.
Guyra Central School principal Jo Burgess said she was extremely proud of both Kelsie and Logan for their effort.
“Two outstanding students and I think the competition was fairly stiff but I had feedback from the Lions Club that the calibre of students was very impressive,” Ms Burgess said.
Now in its 50th year, Lions Youth of the Year is designed to encourage students interested in leadership to take an active role in the community and is open to people aged between 15 and 19 years old.
Notable former entrants include former prime minister Kevin Rudd, past Queensland premier Peter Beattie, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, ABC’s Sabra Lane and Senator Simon Birmingham.