WeSpeak revealed the winners of its inaugural Teen Video Competition, with Eva O’Connor, Sofie Schrum, and Zarah Siddiqi earning the top three places, while Taylor Dean earned an Honorable Mention.
A spokesperson said, “WeSpeak, the platform dedicated to empowering young voices, is proud to unveil the talented winners of its first-ever Teen Video Competition, sponsored by WTW. This thrilling event provided teenagers with a unique opportunity to harness their storytelling abilities, express themselves, and compete for cash prizes.
“One month ago, WeSpeak offered a call to action to teenagers across the island to create and share videos reflecting their personal journeys toward confidence in public speaking. Participants were asked to explore the concepts of ‘confidence,’ ‘competence,’ and ‘calm’ in the context of public speaking and express what these qualities meant to them. The competition, which ran from September 8th to September 29th, received an overwhelming response from young individuals eager to share their perspectives and creativity – and boy did they deliver!
“The winners of this prestigious competition are:
- First Place: Eva O’Connor, Warwick Academy
- Second Place: Sofie Schrum, Bermuda High School for Girls
- Third Place: Zarah Siddiqi, Somersfield Academy
- Honourable Mention: Taylor Dean, Bermuda Institute
Kirsten Beasley, WeSpeak Vice Chair & Head of Office – Bermuda, Willis Towers Watson, presents certificates and prizes on behalf of competition sponsor, WTW, to competition winners Zarah Siddiqi [3rd], Eva O’Connor [1st] and Taylor Dean [Honorable Mention Awardee], alongside WeSpeak Teen Chair and Competition Judge, Sarah Dunstan, Actuarial Sr. Project Manager, Athene Re. 2nd place winner Sofie Schrum is not pictured, as she is on a school trip in Kenya.
“This competition was not just about winning; it was a celebration of self-expression, creativity, and the journey to becoming a confident public speaker. Through the many incredible videos submitted, participants shared their unique voices and be a part of the WeSpeak community, which emphasises empowerment and projecting women’s voices.
“The competition winners, announced on October 11th, in celebration of International Day of the Girl Child, were selected by judges that included the following members of the WeSpeak Teen Committee: Sarah Dunstan [Chair], Jennifer Haworth, and McKenzie-Kohl Tuckett, along with special Guest Judge from sponsor WTW, Leslie Robinson, WeSpeak Coach.
“The grand prize of $1,000, generously sponsored by WTW, was awarded to the top video creator, Eva O’Connor, who has also earned the opportunity to speak at the 2024 Teen Boot Camp. Runners-up Sofie and Zarah received $500 and $300 respectively, courtesy of WeSpeak.”
“In addition to celebrating our competition winners, we are delighted to announce an honorable mention to Taylor Dean for her extraordinary contribution. Taylor’s original song, composed and recorded exclusively for the competition, touched our hearts and resonated deeply with the values of confidence, competence, and calm. Her dedication to using music as a medium for self-expression is both inspirational and compelling to the transformative power of creativity.”
McKenzie Kohl-Tuckett, WeSpeak Teen Committee member commented, “We have been truly amazed by the incredible creativity demonstrated in the videos submitted for the WeSpeak Teen Video Competition. These young talents have embraced the power of storytelling with unmatched enthusiasm, inspiring us all with their unique voices and perspectives. It is a testament to the limitless potential of the next generation.”
Leslie Robinson, Senior Vice-President – Head of Underwriting & Claims, Willis Towers Watson Management [Bermuda] & WeSpeak Coach added, “One of the core tenets behind the International Day of the Girl Child is to promote girls’ empowerment and WeSpeak believes that one of the ways to do that is to encourage them to harness the power of their voices. This competition gave them an incredible platform to do just that. On behalf of WTW, we would like to thank everyone who participated in this competition – judging was incredibly difficult, simply because there was so much talent on display from these bold young women.”
The spokesperson said, “WeSpeak congratulates all the participants and winners of the Teen Video Competition for their outstanding contributions, creativity, and dedication to self-expression.