On Monday 18th February, Phoenix P-12 Community College was represented by Mitchell Collins and Riley Caldow in the Lions Youth of the Year Sebastopol Final. Both students completed a round of interviews with a panel of Lions where they answered general questions about world issues. During an evening presentation, each competitor had two impromptu questions to answer. Mitchell discussed the issue surrounding the perception of schools in Ballarat, including how every student had the right to equal opportunity, while Riley captured the crowd emotionally when he discussed his grandmother and the impact she had had on his life. The final round of the competition was the presentation of a prepared speech. Mitchell spoke passionately about his hero Jackie Robinson and the way his life was challenged by being the first African American professional baseball player. Riley described his adventures in Costa Rica and the way he was challenged to become a stronger leader in his community. The boys were incredible, demonstrating their growing public speaking skills. While their speeches were very strong, we weren’t lucky enough to walk away with a win. Both of these young men should be very proud of their efforts and I look forward to seeing the strength of our public speakers and debaters throughout 2019.

Miss Abbey Panosh—English Teacher