THREE Monaro High School students have gained invaluable experience in developing confidence in leadership roles, public speaking and citizenship service skills as part of the Cooma Lions Club Youth of the Year quest.
Year 12 student Louisa Wall along with Cheyenne Lawler and Larissa McElroy, the eventual Cooma winner, both in year 11 were chosen to contest the Cooma Lions Club competition this year.
Together with a written application outlining their achievements and involvement at school and within the wider community, the students were put through a series of interviews and public speaking tests which were judged by an independent panel.
The public speaking included two impromptu questions requiring up to two minutes in response and a five minute prepared speech.
The impromptu questions and prepared speeches were given in front of the full Lions Club meeting, which is not an easy task, given that the contestants may not necessarily know many of the audience members.
Louisa won the public speaking section. Runner up was Cheyenne.
The overall winner Larissa moved on to the zone judging which took place in Bega recently.
She contested with two year 12 students from Bega and the Sapphire Coast and another year 11 student from Jindabyne.
The final zone winner was a year 12 students from Pambula.
Although Larissa did not win zone, the judges were impressed by the high quality of the candidates and said that any of the students would have been worthy winners.
The judges added that the prepared speeches were of the highest standard they had ever encountered in the zone final.
Larissa said it was a great experience, which she never expected to win at a local level and would be back again next year.
She said it was a good experience to learn interview skills and improve her public speaking having to get up in front of large audiences.
The final Cooma Lions Club certificates were awarded to the girls at the Monaro High School assembly last Thursday.
The National winner will receive an overseas trip to an International Lions Youth convention in the United Kingdom or a trip of their choice to the value of $4,000 plus $1,000 spending money.