GARNISH, NL – Karen Sharpe, a Grade 10 student at Marystown Central High School (MCHS), won the Lions Region G Zone 10 speak-out March 24 at the Garnish Lions Club.
Sharpe was one of six students participating in the regional competition, which includes clubs on the Burin Peninsula from Marystown, Grand Bank, Terrenceville, Garnish and St. Lawrence.
For her views on textile waste, she received a first-place plaque and $100-cash prize.
Sharpe offered a unique solution to the problem of textile waste.
“Since initiatives like donations and recycling have not totally solved the problem, we must look at more innovative solutions,” she said. “We should invest in more expensive clothing that will last a long time. We can give away cloth we grow tired of or trade cloth with our friends. We can even re-purpose our old cloth into something different and unique.”
First runner-up Rand Al-Shujairi, a Grade 11 student at John Burke High School, spoke on immigration.
Being an immigrant from Iraq, she said “I want to let the audience know that helping people and accepting them is very important even though they might be different and come from a different background.”
MCHS Grade 11 student Kevin Sharpe placed third in the zone competition. He spoke on the positive aspects of sensationalism in the media.
“Sensationalism in the media can encourage critical thinking. Many of the stories are poorly researched, so it can encourage people to question what they have heard and to do their own research on the topic,” he said.
Contestants Austin Stacey, Cassie Drake and Miranda Cox rounded out the competition, offering their views on topics like organ donation, gender equality and sexual assault.
Zone chairperson/past district governor (PDG) Morgan Pardy said he was pleased with the regional competition.
“We continue to encourage students to participate in this very worthwhile event,” he said. “As Lions, we reach out to our youth with a variety of programs. We were pleased with the caliber of the speeches today.”
Sharpe will advance to district competion in Gander April 14.
District N-4 includes all Lions Clubs east of Gander and Fogo Island.